Posted in Short Stories

The Lone Hawthorn Tree

We do not shout at the hawthorn tree,
That which stands alone in the middle of the path.
The path came after the tree, they say; wise men made sure none cut it down,
Rather, they built the path around it, and left it due recompense for the imposition.
The hawthorn tree is the peace-keeper, the steady presence,
To lose it would be a bitter blow, for hot-heads need little reason and less excuse.
Do not stand long, by the hawthorn tree, do not bring notice upon yourself.
Do not sit beneath it, no matter how the rain pours, or the wind blows,
It is not for your shelter that it stands.

The warring clans of Fae meet there,
A sacred place where none may fight.
It is there where peace is brokered at last,
Paid for by the broken bodies of fallen fairies,
Shattered bodies of creatures from an Other World,
Bought with the wretched tears of the grieving,
For how much worse is loss to those who do not age?
At long last, a debt paid in blood, a lasting agreement which says,
‘Enough.’

But if the hawthorn were to no longer stand,
Where then shall peace be made at last?
Where shall the queens entreat their lords to call a halt,
And say that the times comes for something new?
Peace is not spoken of at wells,
Where echoes steal the words away and drown them.
Peace is not whispered upon the heath,
Where the wind may freeze the tongue,
And snatch the chance for change away from reach.

They say an oath sworn beneath to bows of the hawthorn tree
Cannot be broken, nor taken back.
They say to approach it upon the Death Day
Is to hear it groan with remembered pain.
When all fruit fails, welcome the haws,
The hope and healing springs forth for the faithful,
The careful keepers, the respectful bearers.
Do not fear the thorns, if your heart is pure,
Only grave-wights and wicked things are destroyed by its prick.

So the hawthorn tree must stand,
Stand for peace from forces greater than our own,
Stand and grow strong, strong as our own hopes for peace.
A lone body, with no voice,
But an ever-ready ear, waiting just to listen.
Ready to hear that first and final word,
‘Enough.’
Do not disturb the peace of the hawthorn,
Do not raise your voice.

Never tried free-form poetry before, but I got a flash of inspiration and I wanted to share! Always good to try out new things, no?


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