Adams Apple Bush

Within the confines of our yard
When I was small, there grew
An Adam’s Apple Bush to guard
My passage into youth.

This common, ordinary bush
That “bent a twig” like me
Most definitely gave a push
That helped “incline the tree.”

When I’d ignore, or just forget
Instructions I’d received,
My mom would send me out to get
A switch, and paddle me.

I’d saunter out and take my time,
No reason I should rush.
I’d pick and choose until I’d find
The smallest on the bush.

Reluctantly I’d bring the switch
To Mom. As I would beg,
She’d take the limb and lightly switch
Between my two bare legs.

She never left the slightest bruise
That anyone could see.
No evidence of child abuse
Was ever found on me!

My only suffering was the whim
And guilt of being sent
Out to the bush to get a limb
For my own punishment!

When I’d rebel or disobey,
She’d never push or shove.
Each calculated move she made
Was tempered by her love.

I failed to understand or see
Whenever she’d explain
That when she had to punish me
Hers was the greater pain.

But later on as I became
Aware of self, I knew
Transgression’s not a private thing;
That others suffer too.

She, knowing my life’s journey would
Be difficult and long,
Determined to do all she could
To teach me right from wrong.

I thank the Lord for that old bush
That grew there by the tree,
And one who loved and cared enough
To use its limbs on me!