The Burning Tree

Junaynah R. ----- 15

The Burning Tree


In the night, I awake.

Fractured earth beneath the soles of my feet.

Desolate. Barren.

In the distance, a tree stands,

reaching its arms out to God. 

Marvelous rays of amber and scarlet 

illuminate the dark void it lives in, 

shining out into the great expanse

as if calling to me.


I close my eyes and place my palm against the cracked bark, 

tracing my fingers across its grooves and indents.

Raging flames dance among the branches.

Incandescent and warm against my face.

I know what is to come,

and I know I stand no chance.

I bend at the feet

of the beauty before me,

burying my hands in the dirt, grasping at its roots.

“Please,” I say, “Please,”


Ash rains down on me.

the soft amber light falters, 

then dies.


The morning birds do not sing. 

They have spread their wings

and disappeared into enchanted kingdoms. 

Swallowed by the soft yolk of dawn.

And my heart has frozen over,

my soul heavy and venomous with silence.