Bristlecone Pine    By Ashley Williams

The old woman stood tall and proud.

The clouds wrapping around her,

In swirling shades of soft greys,

A thick, muddled shroud.

The winds formed a coat of fur,

Warmed by the sun’s summer rays.


Wind whistled through her outstretched arms,

Around her gnarled, darkened form,

Withered and bent with age.

The winds blew across the farms,

Reaching farther points than the norm,

To where she stood, ancient and sage.


She felt it along her bark-skin so bare.

So joyful, no longer alone and demure,

She sang along with the chill breeze.

Though plain, she was still fair,

And her voice rang soft and pure,

Even as the effort made her wheeze.


The old woman had not seen

These cool winds for decades,

For she lived in a place warm and dry.

But she liked the cold and was keen

To feel it again before she fades.

She bent in the weeping wind with a cry.


Her fragile branch-arm snapped.

The storm winds were too strong,

And she was weak at nearly 5 millennia old.

Around her the strong gusts wrapped

And she knew this would go wrong

It was too much, she’d been too bold.


Hunching her aching frame,

No longer excited, but afraid

She tries to hold on.

With a snap, nothing’s the same.

She crashes upon the ground,

As her life fades and is gone.

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