Jun 2, 2019

Epiphany



Clouds I’d watched form on the horizon are now above me pelting me with wind and rain. The charged air matches my mood. With nothing in my view except shingles lifting from roofs my thoughts turn to men’s eagerness to collect gold to glitter wallets and thumbs, ignoring the truth I am the tree that gives them breath. I inhale the vile air to exhale oxygen.  Their lungs and my roots branch the same temporal, yet they sing their own funerals with every axe. My sisters have been slaughtered to build human temples of vanity. I was spared to shade concrete, a grand gesture to be their token of conservation.

Angry as the spring storm shaking my limbs, I drop leaves in green fistfuls hoping I will be left bare when the wind releases me. Through a lightening strike I see a face framed in a window near my lowest branch. It is a little girl with her hands raised as if she trying to push back the rain. Her frantic gestures and determination shame me. She has often played in the small plot of grass at my feet. Yesterday a woman lifted her so she could place a dandelion bouquet in the center of the heart shaped scar on my trunk.

With limbs drooping I felt both the storm and anger release me. The blond child in the window begins to clap and twirl. I realize love had come to visit me almost every day. A child full of nursery songs and stories about unicorns was a light I hadn’t noticed. My hours had been spent chasing bitter when hope sat on a pink blanket knitted with giggles and curls telling me tomorrow wasn’t lost.

©Susie Clevenger 2019


14 comments:

  1. Lovely bits of poetry scattered throughout this beautifully rendered piece of prose. Wonderful writing!

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  2. Sometimes the world can make us so angry at how bad things are that we miss the good. And when that happens, everybody loses something.

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  3. Oh Susie, how I (and trees!) Need the love and hope of a child. And to believe tomorrow isnt lost, as i fear it is. Humans have forgotten trees are the lungs of the planet. Today we held a tree event about protecting trees. We are working with council to draft a tree protection bylaw. Doing what we can. But corporations and governments are what needs to change most.

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  4. "they sing their own funerals with every axe." Beauty of a line! Humans are so intoxicated with money matter that the danger won't dawn upon them till their last breath. Sigh.

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  5. Oh, I love the turning point in this story! That there is a saving grace for individuals despite the world spinning out of control. I also love that you included this "Their lungs and my roots branch the same temporal." I remembered the photo comparison that had gone viral, so the girl and the tree match in ways beyond the saving grace.

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  6. I liked the edginess of this and the tenderness at the close of the piece Susie. Excellent write!

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  7. Loved the way this turned, the strength of anger almost eclipsing the hope but not quite. A beautiful portrait of not giving up.

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  8. What a sweet story... I hope the child and the tree will build a new world together.

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  9. Beautifully written. Let's hope common sense will prevail before we abuse the planet so much that child will curse her parents and uncles for allowing that to happen.

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  10. beautiful expressions, lovely composition, touching and so meaningful

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  11. There are so many days I feel like that--bitter, resentful, and expected to feel honored at others' paltry notions of consideration. Then I stumble across pockets of genuine goodness and remember who I am without all that anger.

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  12. Heartwarming! enjoyed the write.
    yes, how anger sometimes clouds the good around us.

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  13. I love how you have pulled us through the thoughts and loss for the tree, and then there is hope rising up at the end with the lovely child. Beautiful prose Susie!

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  14. Really like this. Children can and do change hearts. And trees often listen better than others.

    Elizabeth

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