Sep 28

Why she'll stay

The tree stands in a lull in the forest,
quiet,
branches like a dancer’s arms
bent to the wind.

Its leaves filter yellow sunbeams,
shiver in the cold fall air,
break,
one by one, 
to drift to the ground.

There is a girl who comes here,
sometimes day after day,
sometimes letting longer lapses fit between,
snow settling,
colors changing from grey to green to brilliant fire.
She sits in the same place, 
sets down her bag,
closes her eyes.
Breathes.

There are other trees in the forest.

Their blossoms are more beautiful,
unfurling like soft silk, bursting into a canopy of pink and white.
Their trunks are more shapely,
but this one - 
this one curves just right for leaning,
feet tucked under legs, sketching the sky in her spiral notebook.

There are other trees in the forest.

Their bark is more elegantly engraved.
But this one is carved with the initials of lovers,
with memories of first kisses and first promises,
moments so full they spilled into the wood,
and she knows where all the knots are,
each divot and twist, each foothold.

There are other trees in the forest.

And if she looked, she knows she could find richer earth.
But the earth here is tear-stained,
pressed with her footprints, 
scarred by holes dug and re-dug
to hide her hopes on slips of paper,
tucked into a wooden box,
replaced as she outgrew them.

There are other trees in the forest.

But she knows where the robin’s nest is,
tucked in a nook between its branches,
and if she climbs to the right spot,
she can watch the sun setting through a little gap,
and this tree, it holds on to its leaves longer than the others,
and it has watched her stumble
and sing
and it listens
and it holds her
and she knows it’s here.

There are other trees in the forest.

And yet, she feels no urge to see them.
They might be more beautiful,
but this one, this one is hers.
About the Author: QueenofDawn
"I write because I don't know what I think until I read what I say." -Flannery O'Connor
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