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Young Soul Sapling

by Charlie Palumbo

I stretch up, high
reaching from my fingertips
that point in all directions,
wavering with the frantic howl
of the boisterous wind.

I wiggle my rooted toes
deep in the dark
soil, spreading them out like veins
inside the earth’s terrain.

I console myself by dancing
on stormy nights.
When I feel like my flexible trunk
might snap, I lean left,
back, right and shake, shake, shake
what God gave me.

I invite strangers to my trunk of treasure
nested in my branches are
secrets and feathers
that I collect, becoming the story keeper
for forest and creature.

I stand as a paradox of nature
both full blossomed and barren
strong and flexible
young and old, defining the
soul of the sapling.

Charlie Palumbo served in the U.S. Navy from 1998-2002.  She is the author of The Face of a Memory: Emerging after the Military through Poetic Voice (2010). Immersed in an expressive arts therapy community for over 4 years, she learned the value of art as a tool for healing.  

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