The Aspen Grove
In Celtic Mythology, the aspen tree was known as the 'Sacred Whispering Tree'.
It was known to have the ability to communicate and travel between this world and the next.
Behind me I feel the aching pain of formless wraiths,
Cast away due to their agony, pushed away for being peculiar.
They are the ones who everyone disregarded and discarded,
The ones who despite trying were never enough,
The ones with rugged spirits and soundless screams,
The ones who were left behind.
Each of them carry scars of a life forgotten,
Each holding their own tale.
Each did it a diverging way,
Nevertheless; the result was the same,
Each of them uniting in this place of dead aspens.
Some of them were happy, living each day with a vigor of excitement,
Until one day on their way home something happened.
A soul of malice grabbed them, stealing and spearing their bodies open,
Taking life and giving anguish.
In their grief and misplaced shame,
They took blades, tearing open skin and waiting until they walked into our hostel of aspens.
Others were more subtle,
Dancing the fine line between starvation and the 'perfect weight'.
They wanted to fit in so bad that they stood out,
The societal definitions of 'beauty' degrading their bodies into hollow throbs,
Until one day they went to bed and woke up walking into our field of aspens.
Some of us were lonely,
Wandering messes of souls looking to love and be loved,
Some lacked friends, some were abandoned, some were deserted by their 'companions'.
Some gave their heart, their soul, their everything, to those they cared for,
But after so long of being neglected, some gave into the desolation,
Some donned a necklace of thick rope until they found our hidden aspens.
Some had no reason, no inciting incident.
Some suffered a blend of solitary harm and consuming hollow,
Some had no incentive, no intent, no purpose.
To some the dark of nothing was better than the sting of Earth,
So they took what was hidden in the drawer, loaded it with promises of peace, pulled a trigger and discovered our sacred aspens.
Others lost their everything,
Those they loved to sick, to fire, to murder, to unfair circumstances.
Their parents, children, lovers, brothers, sisters-
The things that meant the most gone forever.
The ache was too much to endure,
So they numbed it with capsules of toxin until they were strolling among our secret aspens.
Others resided recklessly, existing in sojourn.
They dallied in reckless intimacies, missed meals, and forsake their own well-being;
Until one day they laid in a room of white,
Hearing the beats get softer and slower until they joined us in our growing home of aspens.
Some lived in a broken home,
Raining fists onto already bruised skin to rupture the spirit,
Frothing words of hate pouring into the already scarred psyche.
The words of parents, of lovers, of friends,
Poisoning the hearts of those already torn,
Pushing them to make their own herbal concoctions, observing the burn fade and roaming into our garden of aspens.
Some were never enough,
Their own flesh constantly demanding more,
Their own blood pulling them down into nothing.
Watching others earn the praise they never could receive,
Their own wills rupturing and diminishing entirely.
One day simply yielding and wandering into our loving eden of aspens.
Slowly our numbers grew,
Each of us meeting in these changing trees,
Each no longer in the misery of life,
Each of us welcoming the newest members with open arms and understanding.
After the strain of life, we all sorely needed it.
We are not the first, nor are we the last,
We are those of lost life and ongoing sacrifice,
We are the ones who guide those lost souls into the tranquility of our aspen grove.