As I look in the mirror trying to figure out who it is that’s staring back at me I take note of my first impressions. The worn, brown leather boots laced halfway over faded, mustard yellow knit socks. Light wash denim, jeans with patches of fabric repairs, rolled at the ankle. A moth bit maroon and mustard striped T-shirt. Topped off with a tan corduroy jacket with a ripped sleeve. The sable crescents under my eyes. My fearful dilated pupils. The way the corners of my mouth turn down as if presumptive of the sadness inside. My hair tousled carelessly across my face. The invisible tired weight that carries over to the reflection. Who is she? What’s her purpose here? I still haven’t found out.
I grab a length of rope and decide to go for a walk in the forest. Nature stirs around me. The cool breeze rustling the leaves, the birds fluttering among the branches, the frosty grass crunching underfoot, the lichen and moss climbing to the sun. These commodities of nature are my only friends. The babbling brook that winds through the undergrowth and the pebbles it flows over, the butterflies that hide in their cocoons, the woodland creatures that wait in the brush silent and alert.
As I breathe in the refreshingly moist air of the forest around me I imagine what it would feel like to be without breath.
I come across a particularly splendid oak tree. Thick, curving branches reaching out in every direction like snakes chasing prey. I stroke the lush moss on its trunk as I walk in a circle around it. I throw the length of rope over a high branch and use it to hoist myself into the arms of the oak. Leaning back into the branches that hold me I feel comforted by the embrace of nature. I contemplated the life of a tree. As a sapling fighting through the undergrowth for sunlight and water. Fighting to grow strong and tall. To extend its thick branches over its domain and claim this earth as its own. But what about the saplings that can’t fight hard enough? What happens to them? They do not grow strong and tall. Instead, they shrink. They shrink and they fall until finally, they reach the soil again. The insects and the undergrowth reclaim them and they relinquish their desires of growing towards the sun. They give their bodies to act as food and fuel for those who make it. To allow the saplings around them to feel the sun on their leaves as it could not.
I am one of those saplings. I fought through the undergrowth but I could not reach the canopy or the sun. I was not made to grow strong and tall. Was not made to extend my branches over a domain of my own. I know her purpose now. her purpose is to give her body, her soul, her desires as food and fuel for others. I am needed back on the earth. I take my jacket off and lay it over the branch. I fasten the rope around the sturdy branch I sit on. Gently I slip my head into the necklace of the noose. No one knows where I am. They shan't find my body. The rope and I will rot and fall to the soil below. Where I will nourish these grounds. I slip my boots off and tie the laces together. I carefully place this note inside and hang them over a low hanging branch. My last message to the world poetically left unread for eternity. With one final breath of this life-giving forest air, I close my eyes and lean forward into the abyss.
In a flash, I’m dying. I have fallen from the branch and the world swirls in ribbons around me. The light becomes fluorescent and bright.
More of a short story than a poem, but I felt like I had to say it.