the willow tree in my backyard is really old. it prefers the word “wizened”. it is very gnarled. it prefers the word shapely but it doesn’t mind if you call it gnarly (that is if you take that word to mean “beyond radical and extreme”, compliments of urban dictionary). its branches are thick and plunge and twist around. it prefers if you make its limbs sound more graceful: profuse, generous branches that swoop elegantly and spiral beautifully. its leaves- if you can call them leaves- are stringy and long. it greatly dislikes this description and much prefers “its verdures are flirty and ticklish, playful and elongated and fibrous and flowing”. its trunk is huge. the willow tree is crying now and it’s insisting that it is not fat and that that was a low blow to its self-esteem. i apologize profusely and it suggests that i say that it is big-boned. when I, out of obligation, point out that trees don’t have bones, it corrects itself hastily by saying that it has a well-constructed and strong vascular system. I nod. i was planning to comment on the width of its roots but out of fear of offending the willow tree again, i’ll instead say that its roots stick out of the ground very nicely. the willow tree is rolling its metaphorical eyes and saying that that was lame and that i’d better say that its roots emerge from the ground with a certain determination and defiance unbeknownst to man. the bark of the willow tree is rough and laden with knots? without hesitation (it is expecting a less than stellar description now)the willow pronounces that its exterior dermal tissue is textured and possesses character. the willow tree is my best friend. it is a majestic lady with wisdom of many years and many worlds. it watches and listens and embraces life. and it is sturdy and reliable and faithful and sad and beautiful and life itself. and you know what? the willow tree wouldn’t put it any other way.