A child, with sweetness in her cheeks,
Came skipping down the dusty lane.
Each morn she rose to only seek
What things the day would entertain.

She glanced up left and saw a hill
That slowly climbed into the sky.
Atop the mount, so silent, still
A single tree extended high.

E’en where she stood her eyes could tell
The tree was old with gnarled-up limbs
Whose branches drooped and leaves that fell
Like tears from eyes with age that dim.

But right: a field of flowers bloomed
With colors orange and red and green,
Their saturating scents perfumed
The air with beauties all unseen.

She gleely bounced into that field
Where laughter, play, and fun she found.
Each moment pleasures new revealed
From grasses’ sway to insect’s sound.

Her arms spread wide, a spinning top,
She spun and tossed some daisies high.
All afternoon her joys didn’t stop
As e’ening darkness drew on nigh.

An instant’s snap and thunder’s clap
Resounded through the countryside.
Some smothering clouds rushed in to wrap
The sun, its life and light to hide.

A gale force wind kicked up and blew
Across the land as arrow’s flight.
Against a creaking dam it flew
And smashed its walls with frightening might.

Her cries of joy now turned to shrieks
Before a giant water wall.
She screamed and screamed and paled her cheeks,
But could not move her legs at all.

Explosive booms then shook the ground
Which thawed her frozen legs of white.
Though bound by fear, some strength she found
To run and run through fields of night.

Pursued by floods, no glance aback,
She found herself before that hill.
No hesitation (thunder crack!)
A muddied climb, no choice of will.

Eternity–each inch, each foot
As waters slammed against the base.
No care for where her hair was put,
No want for smiles across her face.

Survival sure and life again
All mattered now and nothing more.
The howling winds, they threatened pain,
The waters opened up death’s door.

The pinnacle at last now reached,
She scrambled mad to reach the tree
For which despite all shelters breached
Stood fast, affirmed, immovably.

A quickened tie of sash and dress
She lashed her body to the trunk.
Below, the floods arose and pressed
To threaten fast this hill be sunk.

How long she cried, how long the storm,
How high the floods and strong the gale
She did not know. But then the warm
Of sunlight’s mercy pierced the vale.

The hill withstood. The tree still strong.
Abated waters ran away.
The boastful winds had ceased their song.
All thunders muted to dismay.

A sight below: the fields now dead.
No flowers, colors, birds, or bees.
Her soul had learned through storms of dread,
That none should find their joy in these.

And, lo, the Tree which once seemed old,
Devoid of life and beauties all,
Now shined to her as glittering gold
Possessing life that would not fall.

(Photo by 01234567890)