by Allen Cody
The charity pine box they put me in was too small – so they chop’d a hole and me feet, they waggled outa one end.
You could tell them miners in the crowd, their skin was white and pasty.
But them ones that killed me looked down – avoidin’ the eyes of me family and – the innocent.
Then they lowered me inta the ground near grandaddy.
Me family cried.
But me baby Jacob – oh Jacob – Jacob, he cried the loudest.
Then I heard ’em say. . .”GOOD BYE” ”NO! I AIN’T DEAD! I AIN’T!” I holler’d. But I had no voice no more.
But . . . But it was true . . . I was dead.
Then it was quiet an’ dark for a long, long time, an’ there was a lota memories.
Memories of Life. I want’d to tell me baby son, Jacob how important every minute of Life was. How important every second of his sweet, sweet young Life was, but he heard me not, an’ I drifted through eternal darkness t’wards forever. Years must of blowed by like leaves in the wind.
An’ after some time, I guess, I figger’d out how to, how to travel a bit.
How to visit.
I mean, I mean, how to visit the, you know, the Living. And watching them I saw how the things that I thought was so damn important when I was alive – they really didn’t mean a damn thing – and all the time I wasted.
But the darkness, the darkness, always the darkness surrounded me.
Memories rattled on like empty old tin cans in the darkness.
Until a wave – of Forgiveness – wash’d ov’r me.
And then, the Roots, the Roots, they found me.
The Roots was moving all round me. Fast and quiet in the darkness.
And then one wrapped round me neck. At first I holler’d: “NO. . . NO. . !”
But it was of no use.
And then, after so much silence, I heard a voice.
And the voice it said: “I am Tree and now you are me. Don’t be afraid. Just let it be. ” And the Roots wove through me bones, through me skeleton, found me skull an’ threaded through me eye sockets an’ wove them hard, dark, fingers round me ribs.
An’ then one day, the Sun rose.
An’ the eternal darkness was ov’r
— AN’ I WAS THE TREE —
Me leaves blow’d in the wind.
Me head in the Sky.
Me roots clutch’d the Earth, to the dark, silent earth, from where I had come.
Me arms moved again.
An’ I made sweet, sweet music of the wind in me branches.
An’ there was Light.
Bright an’ shinin’ Light.
An’ the Sun, it warmed me skin.
An’ I could see the blue, blue Sky.
And the salty blue Ocean again. An’ then one day I seen ’em lowering sweet Jacob inta the ground.
An’ I sent out a root to find him.