The Cherry Tree Spell ; Shortlisted for The Plough Poem for Children Prize, 2009

by Sharon Ashton

Shortlisted for The Plough Poem for Children Prize, 2009

I swallowed a cherry stone by mistake
in the trifle at my best friend’s party,
and her uncle John said just you wait
until tonight, when you’re all drowsy,
that cherry stone will start to break,
and once you’re sleeping soundly
two branches will begin to snake
up through your ears, all wriggly,
and by morning on the pillow you’ll see
you’ve grown your very own cherry tree.
I was afraid to go to sleep
(well wouldn’t you be?)
I thought the fluttering in my tummy
was cherry tree leaves growing inside me,
and that cherry tree branches in my head
would soon be waving round my bed.
When Dad came up to say goodnight
I told him I didn’t want to be
a living, breathing cherry tree,
but he told me not to worry,
he knew a spell to help me,
and in my left ear he whispered:
abra og yawa og yawa cherry tree,
and in my right ear he whispered:
cadabra yats yawa yats yawa cherry tree,
and put his arm round me,
and in the morning, guess what?