Monday, 27 August 2018

Round 35.


The apple tree in the meadow no longer stands; storms ripped the old branches from her trunk and now they lie shattered and broken at her feet.

The apple tree is female, she bears fruit for us all and though her body is broken her roots hold firm and one day her young will rise alongside her.

Not now, for the winter still holds the soil in a cold dark fist.

In the distant city, the wall of the factory leans precariously over the footpath where Daniel walks. The wall is old, built from red brick in the century past. 

Daniel is not old but his great grandfather was one of the men who laid these bricks. The wall, like Daniel, is male; it holds back everything that wants to escape or come inside. 

When Daniel woke this morning he climbed down wooden steps and crossed a wooden floor, his bare feet happy at the touch of the timber. He looked out onto the meadow and saw the broken tree for the first time. He had an apple from her last autumn in his hand that he had taken from the fruit bowl as he passed across the room.

Later, walking on the footpath alongside the leaning wall his feet are absent from the hard stone paving. They are confined in shoes that separate him from his steps.

As he moves he reaches out and touches the wall. 

A soft sensation of warmth from the day’s tepid sun fools him into thinking that the wall is alive, and so he speaks to him.

“Are you tired?” he asks. “It’s ok if you want to fall, we will carry you somewhere to rest.”

It’s a strange thing to say to a wall, but Daniel is in a strange mood; he is worried about the apple tree and worried for the meadow that is grieving.

Soon, when the spring finally lifts her head, he will need to cut the grass and he does not know what he will say, nor how he will express his sympathy.

Perhaps he should leave her uncut.

“I will ask her” he whispers.

The meadow too is female.

These worries distract Daniel and he neither sees nor hears the car that, too fast, is approaching the corner where he walks.

He does not here the uncontrolled squeal of the breaks.

And he has no time to feel any pain.

He does not see the car hit the wall, nor the falling of the wall that surrounds his broken body with severed bricks, in the same way the jagged branches lie at the feet of the broken apple tree in the meadow.

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