When we met on the bluest of blue sky days
I and the girl with a book in her hands
Titled Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
She marveled at my branches and leaves and roots,
And settled beneath me, I her roof,
Her back against my trunk I watched her discover
The spontaneity and ventures between each of the covers.
Sitting under a taut, blue canvas my branches extending
From midmorning till dusk she’d spend under my leaves
Her pale shoulders unscorched by harsh glinting rays
And her dress settling into the lush grass each day.
She thrilled in the tales of white rabbits and clocks
Through her lucid movements I watched her thoughts.
I observed her eagerness and excitement over things
Written to harvest her emotions with ease.
Her eyes clear and bright as the grass beneath her
Shifting over letters, over pages they’d flicker.
You’d never suspect such a mind in a girl dressed
By her mother’s hand, thickly starched and deeply pressed.
The arguments playing in her language as plain
As the words she read of a frantic rabbit running late.
While she leaned against me I felt her sink in
I saw her eyes think, her smile sense, her mind open.
She escaped to me from stories and papers and news,
The chaotic clamor that’s only good was to confuse.
I saw the dreary heart lift when she looked up and saw me
I rustled above her, and made a promise to stay green.
I saw her long for the silliness and trivialities of the text
In a wonderland where senselessness made the most of sense.
She saw no wrong in the controversy in remaining childish
In fact, she saw more wrong in keeping too serious.
Then the days began to come when she couldn’t keep her focus
For once I could not determine what her thought was.
Her eyes drifted from her pages, so to watch the sun move
She would smile giddily to herself in an almost intoxicated mood.
She would fiddle with her collar, as I watched her eyes think
She would finger her dark curls and blow dandelions wishing.
She would look up to the sky with excitement to her bones
So much so that I could feel her ebbing pulse grow.
Days would come when she couldn’t open her book at all,
Not to say that she couldn’t recite it through Alice’s fall.
No, the girl was too distracted by something on her mind
But not of adventures that in her book she could find.
Then the day came when she brought a book with no writing
Hours she sat beneath me gazing up, only thinking.
Then all at once the words which she felt
Flowed from her pen in a long, wet welt.
She wrote her own story, sillier indeed,
Than any arrangement of words she would ever read.
I read the contents of her soul to the edges of an abyss
Through pages and pages her fatigued pen whisked.
She wrote of a boy, though too well I cannot read,
I picked up some words from her literary frenzy.
At last she collapsed exhausted and satisfied
And at once I knew I must see this boy’s eyes.
The next day I woke and waited impatiently,
Eager to meet this boy of which she wrote so passionately.
I tried to compose myself and settle down my leaves,
For if she had known of what I’d read, she may have been angry with me.
So I waited for her, my dearest friend, to bring him
Where I shaded and protected her, and where I never grafted
I waited while the sun rose and peaked in aligning harmony
And I waited when the sun fell and disappeared behind the city.
The thought occurred in my wooden thoughts that just maybe
She had chosen him over me.
So, sadly that night I closed my eyes
Wondering if ever on her again they would lie.
When I opened my eyes from unrestful sleep
Wonders of her I could not help but think.
Then imagine my excitement when at the usual time
I saw two bodies up my hill climb!
His eyes! Of yarns and tales they were spun!
To the deepest of oceans and truest of loves
His eyes meeting hers I felt the pulsating ring in the air
Of her pure childlike love met by his nonfictional character.
With difficulty she drew a breath caught in her chest,
He breathed relief of being certain at last.
They shifted to touch hands, but barely seemed to move
Their purity something no coveting seraph could disprove.
In all seriousness he spoke: ‘the time has come, to talk of many things,
‘Of shoes – and ships – and sealing wax, of cabbages – and kings.’
To this she replied to him, simply though beaming:
‘And why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wings.’
My days of summer dreams have long since been the past
I became once again secluded and outcast.
Summer has never again brought the girl who once read
Every day, unfailingly from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Though, today I am awakened early
The cool purpling sun is visible in the distance just barely
A too familiar solitary back on my textured trunk is rested
Though curiously donning all black, I know who it is
I recognize through her grayed hair and deeply lined face,
She smiles the same smile she did with him on that day.
Through tears she reminisces, and twists her left hand’s cold ring
She says to herself, but I suppose mostly to him: ‘pigs do have wings.’