I loved you like I
loved the sycamore tree that grew in my
grandfather’s backyard. every year
when the morning glories became my
mother drove to his
summerset country home and I
would climb that sycamore tree. the first time I
climbed the tree my
grandfather taught me
how to check for stable branches. I
began to believe in that tree like I
believed in my
mother or God.
the same belief I held when I
swallowed an apple seed. worried my
stomach would swell.
one summer before leaving I
approached my grandfather and made him
promise to never cut down the sycamore tree. his
gray deep-set eyes stared into mine
this tree will be here forever. He
smiled. he kept his oath until the sun set on my
youth. the summer after I turned eighteen I
returned to find the trunk of the sycamore
tree asleep on its side. I
cried. everything dies at some point, my mother tried to comfort me.
knowledge couldn’t erase my
tears. I loved you like I
loved the shadow of that tree.
the feeling when you place your face on my
face and allow your breath to interfere with my
own strikes me with the same familiarity –
that feeling of shame, of expectancy, of
Monday nights lying on my
kitchen floor, glass of wine in hand,
letting shadows of your love haunt my skin.
About the Poet
Anna Kate Daunt studies English at Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina. She plans to graduate from Davidson College in 2023 and continue to pursue English and creative writing at the graduate level.
For the first time in nearly five years, Vita Brevis is closed for submission. Read the full story here.