The Black Walnut Tree

A.B. - Mindful Words To Inspire
5 min readNov 6, 2022

A short story about memories

Photo By Johann Siemens/Unsplash

“One, two, three, four, five,” I can still hear my mom say in the kitchen while counting crackers and packing them into our lunch bags before we left for school. I stare at the poor family in northwest Oklahoma from the top branch of the black walnut tree. The tree used to be my favorite place in the world, and that, to my surprise, I can still climb.

Can I have six crackers?” I can hear my brother ask.

If you have six, then your sister only has four. Help me get the peanut butter.”

This was a common scene for the first twelve years of my life. That kitchen table. The three of us counting crackers to dip in store-brand peanut butter while getting ready for the day.

I can still see them, the eight-year-old me with curly auburn hair, the ten-year-old skinny Tommy, my brother, and my apathetic, overworked, and tired mom. I can still see them through the now broken kitchen window of the abandoned ranch, moving around, getting supper, counting crackers, planning meals, and getting ready for church.

Twenty-five years later, it sometimes feels like it was all a dream. A faded memory.

But the branch of the old black walnut tree still feels real. The texture hasn’t changed a bit. The branch feels a bit looser, and it bounces more…



A.B. - Mindful Words To Inspire

English Teacher, Meditation Enthusiast, Writer, Lover of Inspiring Stories and Flashfiction. Visit her blog at