The Tree This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

March 14, 2008
Sometimes if I stared at the tree in just the right way, in just the right light, the limbs seemed to sway and breathe as they stretched toward the open, periwinkle sky, their tips scraping the bellies of the cotton-swab clouds. The scars and wounds in the tree’s torso almost appeared to gasp and whistle in the wind; and from where I sat on the muddy ground, I felt comfortably small.

How old could this dinosaur, this magnificent arbor, be? I wondered, my gray eyes tearing as I struggled to trace the spindly limbs up toward the white glow of the sun, blinking owlishly and leaning back on my elbows. The clearing was alive with music – choirs of mockingbirds and lonesome doves competed on rotting branches as summer crickets chirped and buzzed in their tall stalks of grass. The playful breeze sang a taunting tune as she brushed against my bare, pale arms, and the newborn frogs in the murky pond croaked from their gloomy home in the algae.

I found this tree a year ago, when my family moved into the ramshackle house just across the field, when the flowers were giving off the same alluring scent I could smell now. The barren clearing was my lonely place, hidden by a large meadow of grass as high as a horse and prickly trees that separated the other houses in the neighborhood from mine.

I lay back on the soft ground, itchy nubs of grass poking through my thin shirt into the small of my back. The earth wafted sweet odors of ferns and grass, of mud and mold. I smiled and brushed at an insect that landed on my sunburned cheek, leaving a dark streak of dirt on my skin.

I lost track of time as I bathed in the intoxicating rays of sun, waiting for another human voice to wake me from these peaceful summer daydreams.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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708JFP said...
Oct. 28, 2010 at 3:10 pm

I agree with this article. Today in society we never take the time out to look at the tree's. We also under appreciate them. Tree's are more than just tools we make paper out of. Tree's help clean the air, but we are sitting here destroying them in order to make a new subdivision.


Tori B. said...
Jun. 6, 2009 at 5:32 am
This is wonderful. It is simple, original, and turns an insignificantly perfect moment into a story that entrances you.
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