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Angry labored breath
All I can hear
Angry labored breath
I don’t remember what I’m angry about
Doesn’t matter...
I turn back to my math book
One problem left
I can’t think,
My mind
Crowded by a radiating heat,
Like lava ready to explode into the air
I need clarity
I stand from my recumbent position
Dad asks me something about where
I am going
I barely hear him
And don’t answer
I rush through the front door
Rough concrete hits my feet,
Shocking me back to reality
I hit the ground running, running
It feels like a few miles
It is only a few feet
The spiky grass of the front lawn
Grabs at my feet
Tripping over the exposed roots, closer, closer to my beloved tree,
My clarity
I grab the bark and lift up,
My limbs flying over practiced handholds and footholds
Climbing higher
Not registering the rough, sandpapery bark
I finally reach the branch where I sit
I let out my breath
Not realizing I had held it
Scalding hot tears hesitate
At the edge of my eyes…
Unsure of what to do
A stinging sensation
I stare down at my hands,
Red and scratched
I close my eyes
Lean against another branch
The anger leaves me
Tears trickle down my face
Cooling down the red sweaty mess
My face has become
My crowded head clears
Leaving a glowing radiance of clarity
For a moment there is nothing, but the brilliance of silence
Shared by the tree and the wind

Christiana Joiner Candlenut Tree
Christiana Joiner, 11
Kihei, HI