by James Fajarito

Every afternoon, Mother
burned leaves to shower
with smoke the mango
tree in our backyard.

She burned fallen
leaves to rid of them,
but the coming
summer gave her

Added motivation:
to induce the tree
into fruiting, just
like her ancestors did.

For several years,
without fail,
the smoked tree
yielded tasty fruits.

Her children followed
suit in this tradition
of applying smoke
to the tree for harvest.

For years and years,
we ate mangoes sliced
into small pieces and
dipped into salt or sugar.

Due to old age, the tree
later gave way, but
the memories of mouth-
watering fruits never did.

photo credit: Victoria Chen, Unsplash