Poem: “Timber”


I lay on my back at the bottom of the pool.
Muted shapes drift by, unconscious of my body, eclipsed by the
of the water.

There are shafts of light splintering down,
bouncing against branches and bark
to filter into my hearth,
where the water absorbs it hungrily and distills it,
spreading it like bright blood.

Undulating motes twist and ripple around me
and I stare with giant eager eyes at the surface,
so far and so close.
I breathe through my skin.

Large and rippled, a tree looms over me
with a heaving trunk and
saturated fingers.
I am not fearful of the umbrage it affords
because it lures my prey close.

Until there is a sound,
whirring and coughing,
chewing and spitting.
And still I float in the depths.
Until the distended tree begins shifting,
shuddering and groaning,
twisting and shaking.
And then do I move.

I let the water buoy me and my head breaks
so that the procacious breeze nibbles at my face,
as I stare at my distraught tree.
A beast with a choleric voice
has sunk its silver teeth into the tree’s woody skin,
the whole pool is vibrating,
there is a brittle, stale feel in the air.

There is a tear in the fabric of everything
and now the tree is leaning towards me,
asking me to save it,
so I stretch out my own arms to catch it
as it plummets down
into my home.


– Saratoga Schaefer, written October 2017

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