The Indicator x The Student: “The Persimmon Tree”

Kei Lim ’25 explores the impacts of grief, love, and abandonment 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 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.