The willow tree’s tale

The weeping willow croons its little tune

When the crickets retire and the breeze is still

And all that can be heard is the cry of a whippoorwill

As it is hidden from the moon’s full light

I tell a tale which one may hear if they look beyond my silvery branches

A story that was played out many years ago and I, the only witness

Wanderers have come to the base of my tree to hang their sorrows with only similar moods of grimace

I especially recall that fateful night that began a life and ended one years later

In the year of ’79, there was a girl who sat at my feet and sang in the insects’ chorus

She had the voice of an angel, so pure and clear, that the frogs stopped mid-croak

It carried throughout the night and was as calming as a mother’s gentle stroke

She came every full moon and continued this pattern and soon blossomed into a woman

One night, she came when the night air was cooler and the insects had laid away their instruments

He came too, staying hidden among the shadows, pouncing when the time was right

He stole her innocence that cold summer night

She lay, weeping and shivering, on the ground, no one to witness but the darkness that cloaked the silence

 A year passed and she had not come at all until the  ground thawed mid-May

In her arms, she bore a baby girl who cooed and grasped my branches in her stubby fingers

The mother, the girl whom I had watched grow into adulthood now had bitterness that permeated the air and lingered

Innocence stolen, no longer to be had

“I hate her and…him,” she whispered to no one.  ”I can’t bear to live with this.”

She turned on her heel with the now-whimpering infant and left

I didn’t know what she planned to do, hopelessly bereft

Who was I but a silent, unyielding mass of limbs, only here to live and die?

Years passed, six or seven 

I had grown weak and was only  waiting for my time

I heard a snap of twigs and there she was, more beautiful than ever and her confidence sublime

Yet there was an melancholy sorrow in her eyes and her composure had the distinct look of being forever haunted

She ran her fingers on my trunk, “I lost her,” she revealed hollowly.  ”I forgave her, I finally loved her, but now she’s gone.”

I soon learned that her seven year old daughter had died in a car crash that year

I wrapped my arms around her and sang into her ear

“Though limbs may break and winds will tear

Your daughter’s love, you’ll always have near

No matter the distance between the Earth and the skies

You will be with her as the sun may sleep and rise.”

An eternal sleep she did take

Swaying gently amid the yellow leaves

Joining her daughter in whatever life was remade 

 

I thought you might enjoy this, I wrote it a while ago.

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One Response

  1. Wow. What a powerful story. You have a gift with words! I love your descriptions–they make me feel like I am there watching. Beautiful work

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