Monday, September 24, 2012

The Tree of Life

once, i knew the love of a tree

i hadn't been looking for it, i don't think,
i was just walking away from something
that had left me cold, empty,
and without direction

and there it was-
a tiny tree alone in the midst
of giant redwoods

it's fragile limbs were shaking
and the leaves seemed to wave to me
so i took some rest
against it's sturdy trunk

we came to know each other
me and this beautiful tree

sometimes i would feel the sap
rundown my neck like the balm
of Gilead as we commiserated
and i would rub it's roots that pulled me near

after a time, it let me carve my initials
in it's skin while it sang to me, and then
it dared me to climb it's limbs
to know it's touch, so i did

i went to this tree often, to be held,
and when it would see me coming
the leaves would glitter and change
colour, which i took for happiness

it shaded me in the searing heat
sheltered me in the fiercest storms
and gave colour to a life
that had turned grey as stone

i gave it nothing
but my need

one day i went to the tree
and found the redwoods weeping
along the trail
and my heart sank in knowing

there where it should be
it wasn't
just a crime scene
of a horrible senseless murder

this hadn't been a clean cut
this had been a brutal killing

the lifeless stump had been mutilated,
limbs lay scattered where they fell
and the leaves of vibrant colour
were now the black of cold rigor mortis

my tears fell in waves
as i looked to the helpless redwoods
and asked,
who could have done this awful thing?

as they silently looked away
i looked down
to the bloody axe
held in my hand