Sunday Magnolia

As children we’d play for hours
In the shade of an enormous magnolia
In the yard at First Baptist Church
Climb the maze of her branches
Race through her crunchy leaves—
marveling at their size.

We’d use her fallen fruits as grenades
Snap off the stem and toss
Turn our faces and shove our fingers in our ears
Anticipating the fantasized boom.

We’d lie on our backs below her canopy—
Like a toddler under her mother’s Sunday morning skirt,
Gaze up into the eternity of greenish-grey velvet
Intoxicated by the sweet perfume of her blooms.