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The Murder of Willow

A gentle breeze fluttered the curtain I hid behind, as I strained to hear above the 
pounding of the heart that was trying to break out of my chest, and above the 
roaring behind the eardrums that were channeling to me, the conversation taking 
place between my husband and Mr. Burly, who were standing out on the upper deck 
of the backyard.

“WE HAVE TO TAKE HER DOWN,” Mr. Burly commanded. 

“Is there no other way,” my husband asked? 

“No” Mr. Burly replied.  “You and I both know, she has gone too far… getting tangled 
up in all that underground activity.  It will only bring you BIG TROUBLE if you don’t 
stop her RIGHT NOW."

Many times over the years, I had fought for her life and won, but I knew there would 
be no changing their mind this time.

So…I locked myself in the bathroom while they murdered her.  There… on the lid 
of the porcelain throne, with my head hanging over the sink, I sat, watching a 
stream of tears slide down the drain as the sound of the chainsaw outside, shattered 
my mind. 

No one will ever know how much I loved her…no one but me and the drain.


It was days before I had the mental and physical strength to bring myself to the 
place where they had thrown her torso and severed limbs in the ravine among the 
discarded clumps of kitty litter, waterlogged cardboard boxes, weeds and wild 
flowers that grew there, in abundance.  


I remembered the first time I had ever seen her…a tiny sapling born from a seed 
that had flown on the wind and landed in the lower level of the backyard and taken 
root. Not knowing who or what she would be, I left her there thinking she would never 
survive the winter…but she did.  

“Too close to the house and the septic system,” the arborous said. “She’s a Willow, 
and her roots will cause you nothing but trouble, mark my words.”  But now she had 
leaves…and they were so beautiful. 

For twelve years, I fought to save her life as she grew and grew until she reached 
the upper deck, her beautiful branches and tri-colored leaves reaching over the 
railing…touching me as her long supple limbs swayed and moved to the will of the 
wind as she danced to the tune of the wind chimes as humming birds came and went.

Sentenced to death for growing to close, my beautiful Willow was brought down in 
the prime of her life.

Then, I had turned around, and looked at the barren place where she once stood, 
and heard the words someone once said to me, ‘NOTHING REMAINS THE SAME 
FOREVER’, but those words brought me no comfort.

The only solace I could find in that moment, as I stood above the quickly decaying 
remnants of that once beautiful creature was: knowing that my willow would never 
weep again.

Written:  August 26, 2014
Author:  Elaine George


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  1. Date: 8/28/2014 10:52:00 AM

    Dear Lainie, Your last line brought tears to my eyes. I've heard weeping willows will wrap their roots around drains, but they are so beautiful! This is an amazing narrative that captivated me. Surely, this will be a winner in Cyndi's contest! Love you, Carolyn (Karen O'Leary has a wonderful uplifting website for poets. If you're interested, drop me a line. You only submit one poem every two months, so it's not time consuming.)
  1. Date: 8/27/2014 3:47:00 PM

    oh my, what a touching piece. VERY well written, Elaine. You sure know how to do a good short story! My brother Dale did not die as a child. he had gone to college and was nearly a lawyer when he was killed by a drunk driver. He was 33, same age as Jesus died. I often thought of him like a Christ. He was such a wonderful guy.
  1. Date: 8/27/2014 2:35:00 PM

    so touching Laine They are beautiful tree yet it is said to be unlucky to have one in your garden. They are for parks and open spaces and love to be by water. fantastic pen hugs
  1. Date: 8/27/2014 12:37:00 PM

    Hi Elaine, a poem, well done. A sad story, however. I love and enjoy your writing, wonderful poem, deep like the roots of a Willow tree.... LINDA
  1. Date: 8/27/2014 4:09:00 AM

    - A cruel murder .... Exciting reading ... as a criminal story .... very well written, Elaine - I wish you a nice day :) - oxox // Anne-Lise :)