I shuffled down the dirt road at a snail’s pace
trying to prolong my existence,
in a feeble attempt to postpone the inevitable,
my back to a howling wind that pushed me along.
The whistling in my ears muted the sneers
from a multitude of dust devils.
High noon was fast approaching,
bringing to light a tortuous certainty.
I stared down at the loosely hanging shackles
that bound me to the filth of poetic injustice.
Muttered a curse to the sentence pronounced.
Swore to the gods through the pangs of retribution.
I knew where I was headed,
and followed the footsteps of many a man most assuredly
‘Twas the last leg on a short journey to the outskirts of life.
Stoic and reserved, the old oak cradled the edge of town,
as if guarding it from the motley graveyard just beyond.
No one would go near its wickedly crafted branches at night,
haunted as it was.
“Home to a hundred killer’s souls, or more…” was the talk going round.
As I looked ahead to this unjustly demonized, grand and stately tree,
which was now but a mere block away,
it became a welcome sight that beckoned me on
to greater planes of being.
It was to host my homecoming, and would be my final resting place.
A known destination that was soon to hold my soul in the balance.
Suddenly the wind died down, and I began to hear whispers.
As I neared the mighty oak, I realized just who was doing the talking.
With fierce quickness,
that old tree told me a thousand stories I’d never heard.
Then all became quiet,
and I was left in silence to speak these last words.