What is it that we are?
Me, I can define myself by the height of that black willow,
watching over the pond since we were kids. We’ve etched
our secret loves on her trunk, threaded her wilting limbs
through our own tresses. We’ve held great pirate battles
with her branches, and communed with the beetle
family that took to her roots. Remember peanut butter
sandwiches on your mama’s checkered blanket, and
dealing danger-blackjack, and teenaged wisdom, and Polaroid
selfies to the gang (before selfies were a thing)? Singing
your favorite lines from Alanis like a warning to the world
at large. Shredding report cards and slam books and the
wrappers from those stupid taffies that you never could
resist. I can still taste their sweetness, like regret. It’s here
we solved the case of the missing scarf, and decided to stop
biting our nails, and prayed your Daddy would come home.
I am her highest limbs. I am her deepest roots. I am the way
the sun slants just right through her leaves. I am the ripples
on that tiny pond when the breeze whispers what it knows.
And now she stands here, under a garnet sky,
as we stand beside her, and say goodbye.
Poetic Asides April PAD Challenge, day 22. This is the one with all the prompts.