The Blue Tree in Lyons

the Yellow Box rattles in the wind
dead branches entwined with sky
trunk brushed in blue

at the turnoff drivers ask
why’s that tree
got a blue coat?

passengers wonder

strollers and joggers pause

  ask why is blue so sad

    a silence


when it’s also sky and sea

why is it too hard to say

something’s really wrong?

socks paired face washed hair brushed
we make ourselves look better than we are
so no one sees our shuddering shame

my thoughts are worried leaves
    in a storm
my mind is bark eaten away

my job is too much I think I’m done

how will I make money to pay my rent
let alone my debt

my family was stolen and my land

my body doesn’t feel like me

thrashing limbs I can’t stop
so scared I’ll be ripped away

I’m different to anyone I’ve ever met

they left me

I was hurt too much

where can I live
where can I be safe?

my love is not accepted

I asked for help but it’s too much

this pain has done me in
lopped branch after branch

the world has raced ahead of me
    I’m lonely

people will think
why is that tree in Lyons blue?
ask have you seen that big blue tree?

people on the drive to work
to the shops to visit
kids walking home from school

don’t know what to say
might make it worse?

ask why is that tree blue?
it’s a start to find a way to say

there’s something really wrong
this feeling it’s not leaving
or I am worried about our friend

so why is that tree blue?

in the listening and speaking
here in Country
in Lyons right near Woden
in the valley near the creek
we might find a way to hear
to say

        yes I’ll listen
        we can try to talk
        I’ll sit with you
        I’ll come

Sarah St Vincent Welch, © 2023