Charcoal Tree by Addison Black

 
 My walk through
 the old part of the cemetery
 is a chance to escape the
 commotion of the world,
 and take advantage of the quiet and the trees.
 I enjoy how the weather changes the
 carefully constructed landscape.
  
  
 One day
 a sky low and layered.
 Dark and pregnant with an oncoming storm.
 My body plays host to the exquisite tingle
 of the electrically charged air,
 as I stand in front of a statute of St Theresa,
 with Bauhaus on my headphones
 How goth was your day?
  
  
 Another day is sunlit.
 The sky, a defiant blanket of blue,
 and my attention is drawn to
 a stark tree-like skeleton
 of jet black a little way in the distance.
 It looks like a sculpture.
 I wonder if it’s a new kind of tree
 I haven’t encountered before and, excitedly,
 I trickle down towards it to investigate.
  
  
 The skeleton sculpture was indeed a tree,
 black with charcoal, having somehow
 endured a fire.
 It looked strong.
 It’s structure still intact,
  but covered in this dramatic new fabric.
 It was honestly, very beautiful.
 I was joy-struck.
  
  
 As I gently pushed my head
 into its insides
 to fully appreciate all it had to offer.
 The smell of burning was still strong,
 as the charcoal came off onto
 my hungry fingers.
 This was, it seemed,
 a very recent change to its life.
  
  
 I appreciated the aesthetics of its shape
 and the fact that it had not been destroyed
 by the violence committed against it.
 It was Beautiful, after all.
 No doubt the flames that engulfed it were
 Beautiful too.
  
  
  
 My enjoyment of this apparition
 as an aesthetic object
 fell heavily to the ground
 when I noticed the tiny nest
 high up in its branches
 As perfect and black
 as the limbs that held it tight.
  
 I consoled myself with a fantasy.
  
  
 No eggs had been laid there.
 The nest-maker had flown away,
 harmed merely by an irritation
 that it’s intricate labour
 had been disturbed.
 It had found a better home, with
 a picturesque view and excellent amenities.
  
  
 But the reality shook me,
 as if another storm was approaching.
  
 The tree itself, had still suffered,
 empty nest notwithstanding.
 Probably at the casual,
 or deliberate hands of a human.
 Perhaps it would go on to
 recover from its trauma.
  
  
 Become stronger.
 More impressive,
 more magnificent, and
 more beautiful
 as it grows its new greenery.
 Embrace new nests,
 in its abundant new foliage
 with wisdom and grace.
  
 The singular glory of anything
 that survives brutality and
 flourishes.
  
  
 But really, as the tingle of
 my imagined storm started to fill me.
 My body played host to a sadness,
 and a rage
 that it had to suffer and recover
 at all. 

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