The Freshly Felled Tree

The tree-branch bobbed past the window, scarcely higher than the sill, its leaves shushing the recalcitrant grass that sprang upright again in its wake. It lurched as it moved onto the path, and idly she wondered if it would unyoke the ragged ridge of bone straining to thrust it up. As the ten-toed spindles upon which the whole mass was perched spun scrabbling for a firmer hold upon the dust, a rough draft of a human face emerged above the leaves. Beside its bones almost uncoated with flesh, beside its cracked skin and leaden eyes, a trick of the light cast her own double-chinned shadow onto the window-pane, and for the first time in her life, she felt upon her soul the cold grey weight of an oxygen debt.

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