One night when the trees danced circles beneath the stars, townspeople wandered toward the beat. When they arrived in the forest and discovered elms and oaks in their joyful twirling, the people ecstatically began to dance. Nature and man swirled and swayed side by side until a clumsy trunk stomped on a man and flattened him.
“We shouldn’t dance together,” the townspeople said in unison.
The forest of trees bent down in sadness. One tree voiced apology by swishing its branches and bowing. Another tree spilled tears of sap onto the dirt. All trees stopped moving and set their roots back inside the earth.
The men, women, and children still frolic near the trees, but the trees now only watch. Once in a while, their branches sway and leaves drop near the people’s feet. When dancing is done, the townspeople carry those leaves back home. They press them between pages of books where stories continue to thrive.
About the Author
Maureen Sherbondy has a forthcoming novel Lucky Brilliant (Black Rose Writing, 2020). She has published work in Calyx, The Stone Canoe, Cortland Review, European Judaism, and other journals. She has also published ten poetry collections. She teaches English at Alamance Community College in North Carolina. I live in Durham, North Carolina. www.maureensherbondy.com