Poetry from Brianna Dawn.

Reflections 2015: Alice and the Human Cheshire

The wind bent the tree branches
Criss-crossing them and their larger fingers
Denting the joints creating a staircase into a tree canopy jungle

Alice climbed them to follow lantern lights glowing a cheap chalky sky blue
Blinking and winking in her face, each flash an x-ray revealing a bony gentle grimace
Of a shrunken beast hiding in the remains of an owl’s nest

Come with me to the fox’s den in the canopy,
She tossed up the request in a frantic whisper
Fearing walking the jungle without a guardian

The shadow of the beast met her eyes before his actual form
Moved onto the drooping tree branches
Pulling tree limbs with leaves up to cover his face

He was slowly wringing out the uncertainty
Of the possibilities that floated before him —
… There’s a trail just over there,
He motioned in the air with his claws to a place below —

But we’re required to trespass in a tunnel,
The beast said, with a note of speculation in his voice
Yes, let’s go through the tunnel and avoid the canopy at all costs
I haven’t been to the tunnel in a century because when I came here I lost my purpose

But Alice did not want to go too deep into the earth
She had already been somewhere like it
The tunnel ran too close to the core of a dark, silent, shivering place
She felt too vulnerable and turned away

Hoisting herself up another branch toward the canopy
The beast pleaded,

Do not go up there, it is far more dangerous
Struggling to hold all of your weight with your wrists
Instead of balancing your weight with your feet –
And the gravity would kill you if you were to let go and leap from the canopy
To escape all of those things and those vain expectations,
Those breathing creatures climbing up every ladder
And staircase and tree limb and branch and net and rope they find
Just so they feel the satisfaction of being above all the others
Who choose to reside and continue their lives in lonely little tunnels

But she was already gone

Alice looked behind, the beast noticeably smaller
Retreating into his nest

And she felt bigger and more accomplished
Elevating herself higher and higher in the canopy
Believing she could now live happily ever after
In the canopy far, far way
Everything was at its best

But soon she was met by those smaller than she
They made her feel two inches tall and everything in her
Also grew small, her heart and lungs and brain tinier than ever
So that she wouldn’t think, breathe words,
Or live a life beyond what is perceived of her

The trees grew faster and faster
Faster than she could climb
And in time found herself at the entrance of the owl’s nest once more —

It has been a long time,
Said a young man who was sprawled across the branch, stomach down
Gazing downwards, swishing a stick in his fist, writing out invisible words in the wind

Have you seen the beast around here?
Alice asked, turning her gaze toward the nest —

The young man laughed, pushing himself up
And turned to her with a gentle grimace

I never was a beast, you see
He declared, taking Alice by surprise

And I was never really a cat or animal or creature —
I was always simply human
But your fear and loathing of everything less
Distorted and disguised

My true identity – you never wanted to see the things
That would risk setting you back from the dreams you imagined in the canopy

But on your adventure to reach the canopies and skies and top of the mountains Everything in the world was skewed around you
You convinced yourself we were harmful monsters out to get you
To take you back to the places where you desperately tried to escape

But now you realize, finally you have learned
That the canopy, closest to the skies, never really sets you free

Thank you for reading this poem from
Reflections 2015, A Poetry Collection of Written Works by Tiny Fawns
This is a poetry compilation project featuring previously written content that I will share during periods of time when I am not available to provide daily updates. All poems from this collection were scheduled a week in advance. All comments, questions, and ping backs will receive a response once I return.

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