From cool blue ice She melted into the serene rill below and swirled Her way down the slope. A cup dipped into the water and She felt Herself poured over a sun-beaten face, thick with sweat. Thoughts lost in introspection, the man let the water drip back into the stream. Continuing on Her journey She felt the leaves fall on Her and carried them down, down. Some slipped away from Her lazy grasp, and others joined Her. She came now to a bridge and looking up She saw the face of a woman who saw to peace in the waters below. A single tear landed without a sound to join the gently flowing waters. Though no one could tell She wept as well as She passed under the bridge downstream. Tall soft pine waving farewells in the breeze.
It was night when She first entered the sleeping city. Dark houses are filled with slow breaths and strange dreams while the occasional streetlight reveals nothing but strays contemplating the next meal. Further on a key slides in noiselessly and turns as a wayward teen sneaks back into their warm home, hoping not to be heard. While the ever vigilant and worried parent is blanketed with calm knowing their child is safe. As city center is reached the dawn approaches and She turns into vapor as She wafts into the street, drifting and curling around corners. It is Sunday morning and only a few vehicles pass on towards churches whose bells call to worship. She sighs as hidden sins enter wooden doors and quietly sit in polished pews. A few people shuffle down deserted alleys, failing to recall clearly the boisterous activities of the night before. An old man with newspaper in hand opens a door and She follows warm smells of roasted beans for steaming brews and feels at home for a moment. She passes by a woman in her 40’s dressed in Sunday best, who slowly stirs her coffee while feeling ignored and unknown. Her husband staring into his phone to learn the minutia of teams and players in upcoming matches. She circles in behind the counter as a barista makes conversation with a young man, who is gripped in fear for how vulnerable and in love he is with her. He contemplates what to say, but never gets it right. And before the ventilation takes Her out into the streets again She passes by a manager thinking about his wife and young son at home who had to leave on a Sunday morning to come to work in a country that doesn’t rest as much as it should.
In the day’s heat She ascends above the growing bustle and looks down upon missed connections, lost opportunities, and people who have forgotten how to listen, to breathe in the air and be thankful. It cries to Her. Or sings in continuous discordance. She cannot tell. It deafens Her as She continues to rise and feels Herself condense back into Her better self. As the noise subsides She looks down again and sees fields of green and dives down like a giant tear to the spongy earth below. She is drawn to the roots of a tree and took asylum in the xylem as She flowed up trunk and out branch and waited. Each day She fed to the growing fruit, incorporating Herself into the flesh.
The sky turns above and She hears Her benefactor hum a song of patience as Her branch becomes heavier with fruit. And each day a young girl comes to sit under the tree. Hoping for better days. Hiding from the screaming of parents. Breathing in the clean air to replace that dank smell of her father’s alcohol. And each day She hears the hope, the hiding, and the relief from clean air. She hears Her kind slide down cheeks and get wiped away on pretty dress sleeves. She hears the slow decay of an untended farmhouse, and the façade of a mother pretending everything is alright. And then one day, with leaves fading from green to orange, the girl sits with head between knees, shutting out the world. The wishing to be whisked away is like a piercing scream into the sky and She has no choice but to fall to the ground. Vibrant in Her redness, full of sugar and quenching juices. A thud that could be heard by no other, save someone sitting under the swooping branches, caused the young girl’s head to turn. A soft rumble reminds the girl she is hungry. And there was a meeting to never forget as she, but for a moment, loses all remembrance. Each bite slow and savored and She can hear the sound of laughter as She is consumed. From the lattice of fruity flesh to the dendritic flow of blood through flesh. Through lung, to ventricle and atrium, the girl and She merge together as one.
Eyelids widen in the dead of night and She slips out through door in defiant trance. With divine strength she climbs stealthily into hills and then on to rocky slopes rising like a fog in a valley breeze. She is sustained by Her purpose alone and through 3 days and nights she climbs and climbs until white frozen ground is beneath Her bare feet. Soft snow shuffles and She listens between gusts of wind for the calling of Her home. As She gazes out at the wide world, the first of the sun’s rays dance of Her face, sweet peace is like a hymn from a jubilant choir in Her ears. She sits down on Her throne of ice and closes Her eyes in glacial contentment.