Skinny Tree

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I sit in my room and gaze out the window. The baby blue sky is all that I see. There are, of course, fluffy white clouds swimming in the sky. They drift slowly but I always see them drifting away from me. Suddenly, there is shouting, a door slamming shut, and screaming voices echo throughout the house. I am awakened from my thoughts by the shrill voices. Mother and father are fighting like they always do, but this time I do not listen. This time I do not pay attention to their quarreling. This time I fix my mind on the view outside my small, square window. I am not allowed to leave this room and, so, all I can see is the sky outside.


I focus my gaze lower, more towards the ground. I see trees. These are not regular old trees that I see in my picture books. No, these are sick trees. They are sick, like me, because they are too skinny. Too small! Mama shouts. My bony brown fingers match perfectly with the trees. I think the only difference between the trees and me is the fact that they are outside. In the real world, the trees reach up towards the sky and grasp the clouds. Their roots hold them firmly to the ground but they are always reaching up to grasp a cloud. I think they are doing this so that one day, when they finally grasp a cloud, they can float away. I would like to float away too, but Mama and Papa keep me rooted to this room.


My cousin Esperanza tells me that the trees outside her house are like mine. They are skinny and brown and green and are rooted to the ground. I smile whenever she tells me this but, secretly, I know they are not all that similar. My trees and her trees are skinny and brown and have lush, green leaves; they are rooted to the ground and reach up to the sky. That is where the similarities end. My trees are like me; they listen to me and know exactly how I feel. They are my only friends. I bet Esperanza’s trees are not like that. The booming voice of my father resonates everywhere and, once again, I am awakened from my thoughts. A tear slips down my cheek. They fight a lot, my parents. Sometimes I just wish they could be like me and the trees. The trees never fight, they never say anything. I smile slightly because that is a lie. The trees only talk to me but we never fight. They are skinny like me and they are the only ones that understand me. I lie down and slowly close my eyes. I imagine myself being a skinny tree. I am not like the trees Esperanza has, but I am skinny and brown and green and rooted to the ground. I imagine reaching up towards the sky and grasping a fluffy white cloud. This is me, I say, the skinny tree.





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