It exists only to taunt me; the tree which, sighing
raises its arms and casts itself over I who sit alone against its knee.
I return each new day to ponder its majesty and cling
to the lowest branch, praying that this time; this time; this time
it will let me join those who are clean in the sun without me.
The axe I have brought is sharp; I can offer my humanity to the ground
in the hope that it will accept my sacrifice and let me climb.
Perhaps the loss of blood will make me lighter; the giant could
accept his drink and I might be saved before I am drowned.
I shall only be useful when I can climb finally
through the pretty foliage and leave the shit where I am stood.
Then the tree may feed and the sun will make time for me.
There are looks towards the horizon; oblivious as my
rage and hate and screaming shakes the trunk below. I mustn’t ask
them down as the ground is dangerous, unsteady and the sky
could growl thunder and fall in on us. The scum and poison
swims around my ankles and holds me, solitary, to bask
in my own mess while I cry and watch them laugh in the treetop.
Rare moments when their hands extend further; further; but I am beaten
and can only brush their palms with my fingers. I leap
up but fall down, cowering until the leaves stop
raining down hard on my head. The giant seems to get taller each day
and while everyone nests at the top, I am left in the dirt to sleep.
There’s only so high you can climb once the ladder has fallen away.
This week has been a difficult one for me. I’ve been pretty down and not even able to consider picking up a pen. Even last week, I wasn’t able to write a Stranger story and ended up doing a book review instead.
So, in the spirit of being honest, this isn’t a new piece. It’s something I wrote a few years ago when I was not okay. It was built on iambic heptameter (but I was loose with it), and it was written to try to describe the constant feeling I had where I felt like I was lying in the gutter and watching everyone else enjoy their lives, and I felt like no-one would be able to help me.
I’ve never shared something this personal. I hope that by next Monday I’ll be feeling a bit better.