The Willow

I met her by the willow tree,
That by itself does stand,
Beside the old dirt road that leads,
Into a long forgotten land.

The road no longer has a name,
Its dirt is of the deepest red,
That on the days when it does rain,
The road appears to have been bled.

I have lingered here for so many hours,
Sometimes I feel as if I am bound,
Away from the city’s concrete towers,
I feel as if my soul has been found.

There is no sound, save a rustling,
Of leaves when the wind does blow,
With no sign of people hustling,
Rushing to get to where they go.

I met her there one afternoon,
The date I now cannot recall,
At first sight my heart did swoon,
As rain drops slowly began to fall.

She sat, reading, beneath the tree,
Leaning against its trunk, so old,
Seeming completely oblivious of me,
Or the creeping cold.

Her beauty was stunning,
Beyond any I had ever seen,
Momentarily I thought of running,
Just before I heard her scream.

“OH! You startled me,”
“And gave me quite a fright.”
“Why whatever are you doing here,”
“As this day gives way to night?”

My mind went blank at her query,
As if its function had simply ceased,
My vision went ever so slightly blurry,
And I wondered if I’d lose my feet.

Just then, she gave me a look,
A concerned and puzzled frown,
She marked, then closed her book,
And asked me to please sit down.

“My name is James,” I said,
As I extended an open hand,
She shook it with a nod of her head,
Saying only, “My name is Ann.”

Shortly thereafter Ann did depart,
To return home within the city walls,
And I sat there with a happy heart,
Listening to the rain slowly fall.

Over the course of the months to follow,
Were many meetings beneath our tree,
My life, which had become so hollow,
Felt as if it had now been freed.

We talked, we laughed,
We even cried, once or twice,
Watching the wind blowing the grass,
Listening to the rustling leaves.

Our love had bloomed,
And grown so very fast,
I could not see the sweeping doom,
Of the impending wintery blast.

I came to the willow that fateful day,
To embrace my beloved Ann,
And underneath the tree did lay,
A note scrawled in her lovely hand.

“My Dearest John,” her note did read,
“I don’t know what words to use.”
As I read, my heart did bleed,
But then became confused.

“I can no longer meet you here.”
“Underneath this ancient tree.”
“Know that I’ll always hold you dear,”
“And I’ve left something you must see.”

Beneath the note, and on the ground,
A scrap of yellowed paper lay,
I’ve wished since, I’d not looked down,
To see what she had left that day.

I picked up the paper, with dismay,
And understanding dawning in my mind,
The words that I did read that day,
Were of the very gravest kind.

The headline screamed so bold,
“James McGlaren, found dead today,”
“Out by “Long Forgotten Road”.”

Credit To: Jeremiah Brown

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