Some Trees

The snow is collecting in little eddies around the cars. It is calf-deep, a whitish blanket laid over the street. Jen keeps walking. She doesn’t know how long it has been, but she doesn’t want to expose her wrist to the cold, even for the brief moment it would take to check her watch. She concentrates on putting one foot in front of the other.

She glances up and sees a car driving slowly towards her, its headlights glowing like eyes. Soon she will have to step aside, to the gutter where the snow is heaped and hides any number of dark things beneath its gleam.

Jen considers the trees. They rise like buildings, tall, ageless. The snow collects in little drifts on their top branches. She thinks of an Ashberry poem, Some Trees,

Arranging by chance

To meet as far this morning 

From the world as agreeing 

with it, 

She cannot remember the rest. She looks up at the trees and thinks they are important somehow. The car is closer now. She kicks her way through a drift up onto the pavement. She stands beneath the trees and looks up at their silent spines. The branches are like its bones she thinks. She wonders if trees get cold.

The wind worries a high branch and a clump of snow falls, falls, falls. It lands at her feet with a wet shudder. A few inches further back and it would have caught between her jacket and her body. She feels it as if it had landed there, a chill beginning to melt and trickle down her spine.

A silence already filled with noises, she thinks suddenly, remembering more of the poem. ‘I must be nearly there,’ she thinks to herself. She steps back onto the road and keeps walking.

 

This story was inspired by a photo prompt by @iamvickiroberts

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