Mar 31, 2010

The Cottonwoods

Sounds of childish laughter echo through the forest,
As I make my way to the place I once called home.
The old path is overgrown with clover and clinging vines,
Evidence of the years long passed,
Since my eyes last beheld the cherished place.
Chickadees flutter in the trees above my head,
Their familiar chatter recalling memories,
Glimpses of a childhood spent within the safety of these trees.
My mind tricks me for a moment,
And once again I am aboard the Tempest Chaser,
Wind dancing in my auburn hair,
As I stand below its majestic sails,
Watching the joyful mermaids chase after us.
But the moment soon disappears,
And I see the Tempest Chaser before me,
The broken arm of a beloved cottonwood.
My gaze wanders upward toward the sky,
As tiny bits of white angel feathers float down to me.
But my adult eyes see them for the cotton they really are,
And I brush them gently from my hair.

The stately cottonwoods stand sentry around Carparavel,
Just as they have always done in years past.
But this time I do not scramble into their branches,
To feel their strength beneath my feet.
I have strength within myself now,
An imagination that escapes on paper,
Instead of being played out in the forest of Carparavel,
As it once did in my beloved childhood.
A moment of sadness fills my heart,
As I climb inside my car and look back.
Sadness for the hours of childhood play,
To which I can never return.
Sadness for lost simple lessons of strength,
Found here within these cottonwood trees,
Battered by rains and wind, yet standing strong.
But the sadness passes and is replaced by joy,
Joy of a bright future whose foundation was built here,
Whose lessons of strength in spite of storms,
And the joy of childlike wonder,
Were learned here beneath these trees.
Here, within the walls of my Carparavel.

*****

(C) 2007 Erica M. Holle. This was another college assignment, written about the imaginary fort of my childhood home.

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