Graves by The Dead Tree – A Poem

Graves by The Dead Tree

The dead tree stood crowned with smooth
bare branches in what we called the woods
but was really just some undeveloped lots
growing wild in neglect.

Young living maples, oaks and forsythia thickly
gathered at its base. A rich green undergrowth
shaded stagnant puddles where the mosquitos
hunted and buzzed.

We would leave the road by the large rock and
climb over the chain link fence, using the leafless
branches that vainly spanned over the canopy as a
guide to our destination.

Sometimes you would bring a guitar, and Billy the
beer or a jug of wine, or kindness in a cellophane
bag, and we would traverse an invisible course to
find our holy selves.

You strummed fleeting rhythms and the sky would
accompany with depressing lyrics voiced by a sudden
rainfall or a crimson wind. Billy bleeding notes from
a silver harmonica.

One night as the moon crested sightless in the sky
you told us that the danger with love is in how it lies
to the heart. An intoxicated mind vomiting perfectly
sober thoughts.

So I grabbed the guitar from your hands and lifting
it above my head with the metal strings burning my
palms broke it on the unyielding earth. Your eyes
pathetically blank.

And then you hit me, a fierce punch to the mouth.
I laughed as blood spilled from my lips and said listen,
the dead tree is laughing at us too
as it creaked shivering
in the cool night.

Billy laughed then and threw his harmonica far out
into the woods aiming for the dead tree and missing
badly. Its limbs moaned ever louder sounding like bones
freezing under the ground.

But you turned and ran into the deep black recesses of the
night where from their posts its sentinels watched you flee
our madness. The dark devoured us all that night. Our spirit now
ever searching for escape.

Last year they knocked down the woods and the dead tree with
its barren branches that had lingered on towering above them all
went too. They are building a strip mall I believe or a gym that is
to be completed soon.

They did not find our graves there though. But then we were buried
long after our souls had parted.

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2 thoughts on “Graves by The Dead Tree – A Poem

  1. A well-knitted ending. Though somewhat dark, the style and choice of words are quite appealing. My top favorites: ‘The dark devoured us all night’ and ‘But then we were buried long after our souls had parted.’

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