Trees in March

By Linda Bamber

We were seated near the back of the Chinese restaurant, and waiters were
rushing in and out of the swinging doors to the kitchen. At the time we had
not as yet so much as brushed shoulders. Resting on the formica table top, my
hand began to feel odd. Not bad-odd; but most unusual. Trees in early March,
aroused, their branches slightly reddened by the slightly stronger sun, may feel
something similar. They have a new sense of their importance in the scheme of
things; they remember (if I may say so) they are divine. He was looking at my
face, not my hand, so I don’t know how my hand, resting near the remains of
the General Gau’s chicken, intuited its sudden access of significance; but it did.
It had aura you could cut with a knife.

Shortly thereafter he took my hand.

Linda Bamber is a Professor of English at Tufts University. Her poems, fiction, essays and reviews have appeared in The Harvard Review, Ploughshares, Cimarron Review, The Kenyon Review, The Nation, The New York Times and elsewhere; her poetry collection, Metropolitan Tang, was published by David R. Godine. Her fiction collection, Taking What I Like, also from Godine, was an NPR “Best of 2013.”

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