The Willow Tree

Found her by the Willow Tree,
Mud on her dress,
Up to the knee,
In her hand a string of beads,
Tiny pearls, tiny seeds,
Found her,
By the Willow Tree.

Sweet Chiffon in ivory pale,
The bodice laced with ribbon,
And trimmed around the flowing smock,
Found her shoes under the dock.
Footprints there, one red fingernail,
A boat, the kind a child would sail,
Flowers once worn on her wrist,
Listing lakeside in the water green,
The prettiest girl he’d ever seen,
With their longing to be free,
Found her by the Willow Tree.

Moonlight slashed across her cheek,
The wound that scarred her breast so deep,
She looked so peaceful, wide asleep.
He lay beside her still and still,
Whispered to the tangled mess,
To the shining black of her hair, confessed,
All he could not understand,
Her crumpled letter in his hand.
Blood then seeping through his shirt,
They found the pistol in the dirt.
It had been later than he’d thought,
Worried that they’d both be caught,
He’d left her there alone too long,
He’d left her there too far from home,
With her nervous temperament,
Overwrought and overspent.
He begged her, Please,
just wait for me.
He found her by the Willow Tree.

Teri Skultety