Tree vs. Volcano

On good days, my father would walk through the living room, and upon seeing me on the couch would out-stretch his arms like a branch from a tree. I would run to him, jump up and dangle from his arms with my knees tucked under me, and he would swing me or spin me into another place and time. For that brief moment he would be mine.

My father carried a disease that belonged to no one but my father. A disease that kept me from him, and a disease that he tried to drown with liquor. Rather it became fuel for his fire and in my eyes I saw not my father but a volcano. In violent fury he would shoot from his mouth that would brand my grandmother and make my mother cry. And when my mother got too close, the burn would show on her body, the scars that would be carried and told for a lifetime.

Now when I visit, no longer a child, his molten disease dormant deep inside of him, how I see in his eyes, the cracks of his veins red with warm. Oh how he wishes to spill out over the one he’s lost. He reverts to smoking, the ashes falling from his lips, the death of a fire. He blows out the steam that fevers within him, as I stand by and silently recall a tree from long ago, the arm that I swung from. The tree that was over shadowed by the fiery mountain. I see now only a stump left like a tombstone smoldered to the ground and its ghost that forever haunts my memories.


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