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Elaine George. Click the Next or Previous links below the poem to navigate between poems. Remember, Poetrysoup is an environment of encouragement and growth. Thank you.
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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
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
Written: August 26, 2014
Author: Elaine George