the uprooted tree

The well worn road was paved black. We’d decided to take a mile walk just because. The gentle sun didn’t blaze hot that day. It was warm and comfortable, not intrusive. The tree lined road ahead seemed long. The light wind swayed leaves. We talked and laughed and shared ideas, laughing at the ones that were ridiculous but fun to entertain. We gazed at houses, pointing at the ones we thought were worthy to live in. No turtles or cats crossed the road. Only us and the leaves crossed. They blew across as though looking both ways before moving. Maybe they looked for us as well.


The uprooted tree was unexpected. Its soul lay bare for anyone intuitive enough to feel its pain. It no longer had a place in the soil. It was cut and ripped from its home, left on the side of the road, exposed. I wondered what life it had lived and how many decades it had seen. Was it around for a war? Did it see settlers to the town? Was it the home of birds, squirrels, bugs and other life that needed a place to settle down for the night? Did it bear offspring from its many seeds that scattered at its base or floated through the wind, seeking a place to land? Where did the wind carry its lineage? To the other side of the forest? To distant shores? Did it cry out in pain, across time and space, when the saw that tore through its flesh ended its decades of life with a loud thud upon the soil? Its memories were fresh, its pain palpable. We were kindred in that moment of passing, connected by memories and a deep sense of knowing. We both remembered.

I too was uprooted from a past that was rich with history and life. My roots were torn from the earth and tossed aside as though insignificant and irrelevant, a history to be forgotten. I lay on the edge of time, cut down, hoping that I could someday be replanted, regrown. But the wounds are too deep. Very little grows from such deep rooted destruction. All that grows is the longing for what was lost. We long together for what we are able to remember; our roots. We reach for the sun across the sky, for the stars, for a past that will never return.

the candle

A candle sat on the table at the outdoor cafe. The wind blew softly, barely stirring the flame. Forks and knives tapped plates creating a different kind of music. The flame seemed to dance to it as though a memory were conjured forth. The quick flicker gave clue to this conjuring, this thing from the past that was remembered because it could be.

Did anyone notice the candle, with its sentient flame? Or did each person who passed through the outdoor cafe simply eat and talk, engrossed in their own memories, in their own past that would never recall this candle that had seen and heard many wondrous things.


my dreams

wpid-2013-12-0417-53-26-2013-12-3-14-55.jpgSitting on a dresser is an empty glass that contained fresh pineapple juice squeezed only thirty minutes ago. Next to it are three books, Martian Chronicles, In the Time of the Butterflies and Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand. Looking at the books make me smile. I received my packet from my teacher in the mail yesterday. I did a good job with the work I turned in. Her letter to me was motivating. It is time to put the books away, however. They’ve served their purpose. I need to prepare for my next packet.

A small black purse is also on the dresser, with pieces of my life zipped inside; a couple of debit cards, a business card from a literary agent I’ve been meaning to call and a library card that I haven’t used in about a week. My little pocket camera sits close to my wallet, which also shares a space with my iPad. The camera is my second memory, capturing the details I sometimes forget. The iPad is merely an extension of my computer, a place to carry those things I might need from time to time.

More books are stacked between carefully carved wooden bookends. They remind me of my to-do list and the next set of books I’ll need to read for class. The book ends look like West African women from an ancient time. I conjure a past I never lived but wished I could, a place so far away and long ago it feels like a dream I once had about being free. Dreams of freedom are really only dreams. There is no freedom here. But there can, at the very least, be a good life. We can make that for ourselves. Tonight I’ll dream of a good life. Maybe in some distant future my dreams will grow wings after emerging from their cocoon, manifesting into things that not only live and breathe in a new way, but can fly to places far away, into times so far from now that wind and water would have worn away any memory of what was once here. The rest would be hidden beneath sand and earth too deep to excavate. I would fly to that place, into freedom’s bosom.