My mother would ask, "What’s wrong?"
"I don't feel well". “My head hurts.” “I'm tired."
"It must be the Ligustrum", she would say.
One day as I sat on the brick steps feeling like I was drowning in the thickness of my own lethargy, the sweet smell enveloping my head, I spied my fathers hedge clippers propped against the iron railings and the solution was as clear and immediate to me as breaking the surface of black water to find pure oxygen waiting.
When she came home, my mother eyed the bruised white carcasses strewn across the walkway and asked sharply,
"What did you do?"
I braced myself. Willing to accept my sentence to uphold my principles I looked her straight in the eye.
"I killed them."
She stared for a moment at the hacked hedge. Her mouth seemed to twitch ever so slightly and I waited. I waited for her eyes to narrow in anger. Waited for her to grit her teeth and begin the tirade. Waited for her voice. Her lash of choice. I stood waiting and then…..
She simply looked back at me for a moment, then turned nodding her head, and without another word walked up the stairs and into the house.
He said: I bought eight of these bushes to plant out front. They get about ten feet high so they will make a great privacy hedge. They grow fast and they are supposed to get little flowers on them in the spring.
When he saw my face he said: They aren't Ligustrum. The tag says something else.
I said: They look like Ligustrum. That's just a general name. There are different varieties.
No, he said, They're not Ligustrum.
Ligustrum (Japanese Privet)
Sometimes I miss the hell out of my mother.
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