the roots clung tightly, yet stretched at the same time

old birch wrapped its limbs around brick and mortar; hugging the air with it’s wrinkled wood

she danced beneath it, singing a song older than the wind that swept her curls as she moved

when she got very still, she could feel the whole world circling around her

time lept on, as it seems to do

the girl grew and she grew, she reached and stretched and soon she could reach the tallest of smallest limbs on the birch

she perched where the tree met the limb, at a crossroads of sorts

sharpening her hunting knife and carving letters of loves, peeling apples and bowing down to the clouded sky, the jets, the stars, and the moon as it rose above the mountain to the east

seasons passed, as they tend to do

the girl lay on the bed of earth ‘neath the tree as the leaves became yellow and orange then brown before joining her to rest

she wondered and kissed and loved, and soon she couldn’t be still anymore

snow tucked the tree in, and the girl marched away, far away from the tree; determined to never set eyes on it again

she followed the tracks, the flowers, the roads, and the people

she looked everywhere for this freedom she felt in her belly

she backflipped and front flipped, she swam, and she drowned

she found herself beneath a pile of rubble, just to lose herself in the mist yet again

she found herself in other’s arms, only to find they weren’t her after all

she scavenged, cried, worked and worked and worked some more

one day on her lunch break, the woman found herself eating under a birch tree…

this tree was smaller than the one she used to swing from

she touched the tree, grasping for the comfort it once gave her, but expecting nothing

time to stop fighting… said the tree to the girl

the woman rolled up her lunch, and walked back into her adult life

that evening, the woman picked up her own little girl

she held the little girl tightly, just as the tree used to do to her

in which she saw her roots, her limbs, her scars, and leaves

and she regretted not one of them

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