The Mulberry Tree

I am happy to share that “The Mulberry Tree” will be appearing in an upcoming issue of CHIRON REVIEW, a small press magazine that is just starting back after a hiatus of several years. I’m so happy I didn’t have to add another rejection to my growing pile–see Living with Rejection.

Have you ever had a terrible day at work? One so bad that you wanted to walk away and never return. What makes that day different from any other? For a young math teacher who has difficulty dealing with unmanageable students, it is the pervasive influence of her own childhood in “The Mulberry Tree.”

Not surprisingly, I had some of those horrible days that ultimately led me to trade the classroom for a computer keyboard–hence this blog. I used those experiences as the backdrop for this fictional story.

Opening the acceptance letter from CHIRON REVIEW is a moment neither Harry nor I will ever forget. I was sure I would find a rejection in the self addressed envelope that I had mailed to CHIRON REVIEW. When I saw the acceptance letter and told my husband Harry, his face lit up and he was literally jumping up and down with excitement for me. Then I looked at the next page. A post-it note read, “For Harry.” It was an acceptance for Harry for two of his poems. How many times will we each receive an acceptance in the same envelope? It is just so surreal to be accepted together. Harry also has a book review in an upcoming issue.

Later, we were having Chinese food–and a good bottle of wine, of course. When we opened our fortune cookies, Harry and I both got the same fortune, “Stop searching forever, happiness is just next to you.” Since we were both sitting next to each other on the couch, it was surreal to receive same fortune after our recent acceptance together. It gets weirder–we always get three fortune cookies so our Labrador Alex can have one. So far our dog’s fortunes have included a future in medical research and law and as a good religious leader. He’s a multitalented dog. Of course we have yet to see any revenue from his various careers. Anyway, Alex’s fortune last night was “Happy life is just in front of you.” Since Alex sat in front of Harry wagging his tail and wearing his cute face, the one he reserves for “Give me food,” I guess Harry is Alex’s “happy life.”

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