From the Top of a Tree

By Audrey Kosla, TIWP student
When you’re young, you climb trees that reach the heavens
Your vantage point a bird, soaring through the winds
Barefoot flying across rocks, catching frogs in pitch black
The stars a guide and the campfire a compass
Leading back to sticky marshmallows and chocolate-covered faces
Villains of the day are sunscreen and shoes
The empowerment of staying up past bedtime, dreading when lights go out
Darkness holding creatures in closets
To which you protect yourself amidst blankets and walls of pillows

Higher you climb up the tree until you reach where the king of the world is true
The same as a birthday, the entire day dedicated to you
A crown of golden paper sits atop your head
Your subject the classmates begging for seconds of treats of frosted bread
Thanksgiving brings swans made out of napkins, and pictures brought to life with crayons
Summing up the courage to recite songs that sound much better in your head
Immaturity accepted at such a young age
The ability to be whoever you wanted
The opportunities for imagination endless
Not realizing that outside of your young mind
The world is not full of knights and wizards
But only passersby

There’s a time when you realize it, waking up on the couch where you fell asleep
No bedtime stories wanted, no one carrying you back to sleep
The mud seems dirty, and something to avoid
Instead of pies and cakes served on silver platters only to be destroyed
Looking for rolly pollies and digging up worms is something of the past
The dinners and holidays once filled with stories are replaced with idle chat
Golden crowns bring embarrassment instead of royalty
No one asking for a piece of cake
The excitement lost when staying up past ten
The monsters now real instead of fake
Complicated equations, and papers to write
No more time to find elephants among the clouds,
and make up stories in the night

The branches you stand upon
Now seem too far from the ground
Once used to gaze out upon the world
And now used only to look down
In the distance are the memories you should have held onto
When you were young and carefree
Before the weight of the world
Made you come tumbling down from the tree

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