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Only A Tree

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  • Only A Tree

    Only a Tree

    Fall bestowed its fading warmth on a lovely tree
    with her young leaves dripping in sunflower yellow and fiery red.
    Tiny feathered babies had stepped out into an uncertain world
    to take flight into sapphire blue skies.
    She would smile if she could.
    But she was only a tree.

    She extends her graceful branches for the squirrels
    who regard her intently.
    Under threat of a raging storm, they run to her branches,
    shivering as they hide close to her heart.

    Fall laid a chill upon her traveling down her toffee colored bark
    into the darkening ground.
    Rain pelted her branches and poured down her in a rainbow of color
    while ripping away her withered leaves and casting them into the wind.
    If she could shiver she would, as she desperately reached higher
    for the fleeting gold sunlight
    that now peeked only occasionally through the gray mist.

    How she longed to pick up her roots and run.
    She would leap and dance as she sought emerald green meadows
    where warm breezes would bring her back to life.
    She was voiceless and still in the intense wind.
    She understood she was only a tree.

    Glistening icy stalks reached toward the ground as if to pull her down into the core of the dark, umber earth.
    But as the orange crush sun rose the next morning, bleeding across the frozen forest,
    there she stood in her icy glory.
    She was breathtaking. Every branch sparkled.
    Every drop that melted and
    fell from her was sweet relief.
    Will she survive another winter?

    The coral morning rays shooed away the star dusted sky searching for her once more.
    Buds of life returned as they sprung forth
    covering her with royal beauty.
    The song birds’ lilt out their sweet melody as the sun rose upon the new emerald green forest.

    Warmth coursed up through her roots, now planted deeply in the ground.
    She withstood another winter.
    She bore another ring of survival.
    She looked down at the small fallen trees lying broken in brown heaps of decay,
    their branches twisted and crumbling.
    She was stronger, and she grew lovelier with each passing year.
    But she was only a tree.

    Children circled around her base, singing sweet melodies.
    She dropped flowers off her branches into their tiny, reaching hands.
    One by one they would pluck them from the air,
    while their soft giggles floated up
    to the pale turquoise sky.
    Three children danced in the sunlight with copper red, apricot, and caramel brown hair.

    Those who casually walked by and looked up at her took little notice.
    But if they regarded her with more than a passing glance,
    if they understood and looked high into her branches, she would freeze in their steady gaze.
    They would reveal the depth of her strength
    as they softly touched her branches
    and marveled at her height.

    She waited, for she knew fall was coming again,
    with its cool gray skies and icy cold winds.
    She would inhale sharply if she could, and slowly add one more ring to her life.
    Yet she was only a tree….or was she?

    by Sherbie Hudgins
    White House, TN