Voices on the Wind Voices on Aging
The Respite Tree by Matthew Christianscher A young man slowed, drawn to a scrawny, green trunk as It clung to a crack between rock and buckling asphalt. A giant weed, truth be told. Battling the human world. How could it go on? Cars zoomed by, not noticing its struggles. School days passed while, slowly, invisibly the trunk gained girth. Dendritic tentacles reached. Oily leaves appeared. Eucalyptus pods filled this new shade spot. A respite on his daily run. He made a pact with this survivor. This would be the respite tree. He honored it each day with a stop, cool oasis, to stretch and acknowledge its will to live. Two decades sprinted by: Worlds explored. Love found. Family lost, gained. The father and son went to meet his old friend. All that remained was a dusty stump, a cellulose tombstone. They sat together on that scented gravestone. with honks and rumbles, humanity’s soundtrack. He read the eulogy, written in the rings. Struggle,successes joy, pain Of nature and man.