The Tree.

The tree towered over the west bank of the shore,
a beacon to all creatures with foot of callous and sore.

Many creatures still recall the day the seed pushed through;
it rained without a cloud in the sky and they called it Heaven’s Brew.

Seasons changed, the weather more often, but her branches only reached
until safety spread across the land, a defence not simply breached.

Down below, under her skirt, roots churned deep and far
till all below, above, and between knew of this precious star.

Then came a day of fire and loss which burned across the land;
the creatures of the western shore pled for God’s preserving hand.

She knew the price of what they asked and God herself felt fear;
a bolt sent from a cloudless sky was mercy’s delivering spear.

The bolt cut deep into the bark of the towering tree, now shorn;
her pain was painted in soot and flame for all the creatures to mourn.

But as she fell away from them, towards the river’s crashing waves,
her branches caught the eastern bank
bridging salvation out of their crackling graves.

The creatures crossed her sturdy back with legs of lead and glass
to find the other side awaiting, with opportunities endless and vast.

To honour the tree that gave up all of herself for the likes of them,
the creatures planted all of her seeds and tended her budding children.

And Heaven’s Brew shone upon them, God’s face alit with joyful tears;
one day from now – in Heaven’s time – there will be a whole forest here.

© Rylan Skelly, August 2018

About the Author: I have a B.A. in Honours Religious Studies from the University of Waterloo; I have a love for all major world religions – Eastern, Western, or in between; I’m genderqueer, and I’m comfortable with male, neutral, and female pronouns; I’m married to my dear wife Lynn, who is the love of my life, my best friend, and my muse; I think far too much, and often have too many ideas to know what to do with; and I am a doing being, just like you!


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