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2013

The Tree of Life

QU Montage

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.