The Tree

Published October 16, 2013 by atirahjewel

T’was such a beautiful day,
I thought unto myself,
So I decided to go for a walk,
To further appreciate the day,
For in this life I had so few,
On my walk,
I happened upon an old tree,
It’s branches had been stripped bare by the season,
Leaving it vulnerable and exposed.
The trunk had been defiled by two set of initials,
Carved deep into the bark,
The pain those imbeciles must’ve caused the tree,
My whole body quivered with anger,
I had to close my eyes to calm my nerves.
When I opened them,
I let their gaze fall elsewhere.
To the bottom of the tree,
To the roots.
The gnarled, knotted, twisted roots,
They protruded from the soil,
As is the dirt that once surrounded them had been torn away,
Leaving them to be exposed as well.
They almost looked like women,
Women who were left bare,
All piled atop one another,
They looked as if they were calling out in agony,
Desperately pleading for their lives,
Waiting for someone to help them.
If you truly listened,
You could hear their screams,
Riding on the howling wind.
How real it all seemed,
How loud they sounded in my mind,
I caught myself imagining they were real women.
Shaking the disturbing image from my mind,
I walked on.
I came across several more interesting trees,
Each having a story of its own to tell,
I saw several birds and streams,
Heard many calls of wild beasts,
But my mind kept wondering back to one place,
Those roots.
Those helpless women.
The image was disturbing, yes,
Yet I could not help but be intrigued,
My feet moved on their own,
And I sprinted back the the tree,
The fascination consumed me.
I looked on and thought,
“These women, if I cut them,
Would they bleed?
Would they cry out in pain,
Or beg for my help and mercy?”
I closed my eyes once more,
When I opened them I stumbled back in horror,
For a brief moment,
They ceased to be made of wood,
They were human, living and breathing,
Pained.
I resolved to come back later,
When everyone else was gone,
So we could be alone.
When later presented itself to me,
I gathered myself and went back,
An axe slumped over my shoulder,
A test for her,
To see if she would scream,
To see if she would fight,
To see if she would bleed.

Copyright © 2013 by
Atirah Jewel

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