The Indicator x The Student: “The Persimmon Tree”

Kei Lim ’25 explores their relationship with their mother in a piece originally published in the Spring 2022 edition of the Indicator.

The Indicator x The Student: “The Persimmon Tree”
Original art by Will Ranyard ’24

A lifetime’s worth of spinning,

and all virtue stumbles,

enmity circling pupils like rings of ebony

ink the bark of the persimmon tree.

Branches beckon like the arms of

my mother, calloused by the abandonment

of men who knew her fragility

and whispered honeysuckle promises still —

They spooned hope into her mouth

and scratched filth into her soul

before leaving her to cradle Guilt

against a pitted chest.

Sweetness fills the air, wafting

from the single persimmon she bears.

But hidden among foliage grown

thick and disheveled,

it is small and nearly rotten.

Enchanted by the tangled fortress

and baited by the promise of fruit,

foolish little boys climb high into her leaves.

Dancing drunkenly, she savors

the taste of dulcet deceit.

Bitterness has hardened soil to asphalt,

and her teeth bare no mercy.

It hardly takes a second —

A second split into fragments,

and fragments as many as there are

bones scratching the ground.