Everyday Sorrows

The red and blue lights flashed, but there were no sirens. An ambulance was already on the scene, hunkered over, a cubist vulture. It was on the median of U.S. 41, southern Sarasota County. The car, wrapped around a small tree meant to decorate the green island, had felled it, sheared off at the waist, the sap catching the sunlight. They had been stately dwarfs, three in a row of a flowering sort, purple-pink in the days before summer. I didn’t see the driver, but the tree was enough, broken, oozing.

Later that week, I passed the spot again. The car was gone, hauled off to be junked, all the fragments vanished, shattered glass lost in the median grass. But the tree remained, snapped in half, lying on its side. Its crown of green had withered, and its companions leaned in, paying respects with their own petals.

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