Summer Strother

United States

The Trees Are Just As Scared As Me

April 12, 2021

I ask the old oak what it has seen
Day in and day out
I run my fingers along its trails of scarred skin
And instead, it asks me questions I don’t know the answers to.

Visceral,
Like hair loss, the leaves progressively go
Until the old oak is hiding honest colors and acting a skeleton to the sky.
Until it is bitterly cold and the forest is mute.

They keep telling me to count the rings
But this winter the silence is loud
Instead, I reach up and out with contorted branches
Towards the sun
Because I too am scared to wilt
Because I recognize myself, aimless, along the pathways between tree bark
Because 

The trees

Are just as scared as me
As they decide dormancy equals survival
As we fear ourselves, drop our leaves, and anticipate.

It will always return this way:

burnt with orange
Autumn leaves have found warm embrace at the ground
A crinkled sunset blanketing the earth underneath our feet.
The promise of cold
-of winter.

Absent of their chlorophyll and setting themselves ablaze, I will watch the light show
Or perhaps, a desperate forest fire.

Because survival runs through each of us the same, I know I will always receive questions instead of answers
That all things long and aimless know:

The trees

Are just as scared as me
As they decide dormancy equals survival
As we fear ourselves, drop our leaves, and anticipate.
That all things long and aimless know:

We are scared to wilt.
That burnt with orange we have found warm embrace at the ground
Each of us sleeping through our own winters
That it will always return this way

That I will tell the old oak,
“Yes.
I am scared to wilt
And burnt with orange, I have found warm embrace at the ground.
I am crinkled with the sunset below my feet,
But aren’t we all?
Aren’t we all wandering?
Perhaps-
to find each other
in that very notion.”

Print

See History
  • April 12, 2021 - 6:14pm (Now Viewing)

Login or Signup to provide a comment.

1 Comment