A Literary Magazine in Support of the Jewish Community

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"Tree of Life" by Jeffrey Wolf

Tree of Life

And decades later, the apartment on Whipple, Esther still keeping house. Bumping around in her tiny kitchen. Could barely fit a table in there, but she found room for that tree. Her fake tree with its waxy leaves and cardboard mulch. She dressed it up with plastic flowers, long-stemmed and tied on with ribbon. Nine flowers, one for each grandkid. Red, orange, blue, pink. Not patterned by family or gender, just whatever they had at Woolworth’s. Could barely keep the grandkids straight in real life, but she knew their flowers without blinking. Esther so stern, so always frowning, yet her pride and affection for that tree. Set against her useful home, its woods and tins, spoons and pots, the embroidered towels she laid across her strudels. There while she hung laundry and unpacked the Seder plates and stared at the river flowing just out of sight.

Jeffrey Wolf

Jeffrey Wolf was a finalist for the Third Coast Fiction Prize and the Arkansas International Emerging Writer’s Prize. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, Tupelo Quarterly, Jewish Fiction .net, and elsewhere. He has an MFA from Southern Illinois University—Carbondale and teaches at Columbia College Chicago.



Jeffrey Wolf