The Tree Must Cherish the Child

Written by: Christopher Mason

The tree must cherish the child
that rises from the seed
so long held upon the bough
her every hunger felt and flooded
her every subtle motion sensed
until released
she falls into the soil
and emerges green
her first leaf wet
trembling
delicate as a whisper
caressing life
then lost
her infant root rotten
her stem become dry
she strives to breath
for an instant suffers
then passes
cold before she can feel
the rain upon her skin
or hold the bird poised to fly
or dissolve into the blossom’s sweetness
I wonder
does her mother weep
her grief dripping from the bud
withering the shoot
contaminating all color grey
all sentiment rendered brittle
crumbling as she twists
to evade agony’s embrace
or does she rather lie in silence
ashen
aching for the darkness
to devour all thought
to consume all memory of warmth
as dust descending through consciousness
sinking inward
until she sleeps
the emptiness within sufficient
to hold the shame in shadow
though still she senses its weight
drawing every passion into sorrow
and when to awaken
to set once more a flame to loss
and burn and cry
and sometimes smile
for the beauty
brief as dawn’s first fragile glow
yet touched for a moment
and in that moment loved