By Kelsey Brown
The tree is like a firework, its leaves
Explode with color: red like lust and orange
More bright than fury; yellow quietude.
The boy approaches cautiously, so as
Not to be blinded by its blazing flare.
He places one foot on a crook formed by
Broken bark. It’s a stepping stool made just
For him, and hesitantly he begins
To climb. His movements clumsy at the start,
Ascending farther, climbing turns to grace.
He leaps from branch to branch with fearlessness
Proportionate to lions. Looking down,
The ground is barely visible and he
Is growing weary. Wondering how long
This climb must last, he forces himself on
Like soldiers heading into battle’s fray.
When seconds, minutes, hours, years have passed,
Again he looks down. Now the ground is just
A memory. His startled fingers grasp
For the next branch—it crumbles in his hand
Like buildings turned to rubble. Nothing left
To anchor him, the climb has reached its end.