Girl and a Willow

By M.J.

In the park, there’s this tree. Not just any tree, but a beautiful willow tree. I see the sadness in its elegant branches, longing for a friend, but feel safe in its warm grasp. My family, we named this tree Willow. Willow is practically part of my family now. The first picture of me outside was a week after I was born, nestled in the winding roots of the tree. Every family photo we have is taken in the park. Now, I am a teenager, and I feel sad sometimes. Though my family no longer goes to the park with the rustled slide, I do. Once a day, in fact, I visit Willow. I think she likes that, but it’s hard to tell, because she is a tree.

I loved the way she walked. First the little toddler steps exploring the old park, next running and playing with her joyful family. Now, she is alone in the park. It’s been thirteen boring years since I first saw her, she was bundled up in a car seat, strapped safe to save her life, and her fragile neck. This family- the Worins- are the highlight to my day. At least once a year, the bring her to the park, never failing to sit in the same patch of frayed grass, nestled among my weeping branches for protection. These creatures are amazing, you know, the way their legs trample nature, but with elegance and grace, they frolic, and never fail to appreciate the beauty of my park. If I could be a creature, I would learn to run, but I am guardian of this old park, always have been, and always should be. I have stood strong, extending my roots to grasp the failing rusted playground structure and keep it steady. I hated not being able to talk to her, but she would often hug my roots.

I went on the blue slide in the park today, and Willow’s roots were wrapped around the rusty fragile base. I tell Willow not to touch the slide because the builders might think it’s not safe and cut her arm off, but she doesn’t listen. At school, I feel lonely and hollow sometimes, I don’t like school very much. My friends don’t appreciate my artistic side. I like to draw because your mind can go free, but my friends, they like sports, so I’m always alone in art. In art, I draw pictures of Willow.

She came by yesterday, but not alone. Another creature held her fragile, pale, yet graceful hand. He seemed nice, and showed love for nature like her. I wonder if he will ever come back to settle under my protection.

I brought Sam to the tree. I don’t know if he liked Willow, but I hope Willow likes him.

I found out his name is Sam. He seems nice, but I don’t know.

I have to leave today for Europe, I wish Willow knew.

She didn’t come today, and my leaves weep. What if she never comes back?