A lightning bolt struck this tree

By Jennifer Poroye

A lightning bolt struck this tree

Ages ago

Its branches withered

stretching its limbs

in every direction

Its swollen roots clinging to the forest floor

Claiming the space with no remorse

But it was violently divided

Where the lightning struck

You could see the jagged edges of its insides

Burnt black

like a permanent wound

I wonder what the world was like

When the sky decided to cross paths

with you?

Why did they choose you?

What a cruel twist of fate

That left you dancing with death

On a stormy day

Did you try to run?

Did you try to protect yourself?

Could you feel a catastrophe

was lingering around the corner

when they singled you out?

Did your brother and sister trees

Fend for you when you couldn’t fend for yourself?

That, I can’t tell. Neither can I figure out

how you turned your bruise

into a badge of honor

How your wounds now form a cocoon for

us to sit and ponder

your history in

There is a metaphor

In the way your beauty

Hides in the crook of your pain

That I am still trying to learn

As you continue to stand

Let the posts
come to you.

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