This wooden seat cradled her,
As her tiny fingers wrapped around the two ropes.
As she swung back and forth,
Her legs kicking air.
Her giggle would swim in it
With the dead leaves
In the biting autumn air.
The leaves from the redwood covered the ground,
Like Salmon across a fisherman’s deck.

A crack resided in that branch,
The branch the ropes strangled.
The ropes that supported her.
The old redwood was weak,
Tired of the swinging pendulum.
Like when one’s knees give in,
So did that branch.
There was one rock on that hill,
Only one, beneath the redwood
A rock that coveted the child’s head.
A rock that desired to be painted.

Now, I stand here
Beneath the redwood and its broken branch,
No child’s laughter to entertain it.
Frayed ropes and splintered seat
No longer swaying in the wind.
A rock stained with the color maroon.
Now lies next to a wooden cross,
A haunting reminder.
A warning for other children,
To not trust this tree.
It betrayed its playmate,
And should be left unforgiven.

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