“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


the sound of escape

would that i could climb this shadow-tree
and escape to wherever it goes,
one foot here,
a hand there,
hold my breath,
carefully place the other foot
and just keep climbing,
a short rest on the roof
and then onward,
away, away.

how unfair to not have wings,
to not have kittycat claws,
to have instead these mortal woman toes and hands
that keep me bound,
keep me prisoner,
when i can see all that sky
and hear it calling.
freedom, it says, freedom.
ritchie havens sang it at woodstock
and the sky sings it now,
and i hear but am earthbound,
duties here calling just as loudly
though with not so sweet a tune,
not right now;
that will change, it always changes,
i know, i know,
but today the sound of escape is the song i hear.
an escape to pretty,
to all mine,
to quiet,
to time,
to breezes blowing through open windows,
white curtains fluttering as they pass.
an escape to overhead stars
and slow moving summer nights,
nowhere to go.
a boat on the water
drifting, drifting, drifting,
no sound but my breath and his,
no sound.


  1. Oh my gosh...your words are so beautiful. It would be nice to escape up into that shadow tree.

  2. ..an escape to overhead stars...no sound but my breath and his...

    This is so evocative of love & peace on so many levels.
    Your writing is always a spark of beauty in my day.
    Thank you.

  3. oh, but you do have wings !
    big beautiful glittery ones waiting to be acknowledged...come on, use them :)

  4. Always, your writing paints a picture. I can see it, I am there, the white curtains, the lapping waves, the branches, like jack's beanstalk, leading up, up, away...

  5. Love your words: a song, breezes, and curtains fluttering. Beautiful images.

  6. i LOVE shadow trees..they catch my heart every time..now I know why

  7. breathless and wordless. feels so much like what is inside me right now. Debi, I am so grateful for you.

  8. this made my heart skip a little beat. i used to climb the willow tree in the neighbors yard as a child and felt just as you describe here. that i could climb up and up going anywhere and nowhere or wherever. i didn't have a plan. the success of reaching and stretching was all there was. it was enough. and i never thought about not being tall enough or strong enough to reach wherever it was that was way up there. i wasn't bound by my "mortal woman hands and toes". i just climbed with the inborn faith that is what it is to be 7 years old. nowadays i need wings. and i don't usually have any of those laying around for those spontaneous shadow tree moments. but i am glad you reminded me that there was a time when i never even thought of wings because i could fly with no help what-so-ever.

    debi i love you. how is it that even when you write of pain and longing i am able to see the escape to pretty as clearly and as brightly as if it were a real place? with song and quiet and everything you need. peaceful. i love peaceful too.

  9. I am longing for some of that quiet. Feeling desperate for it, as a matter of fact. It seems everywhere I go, there is someone wanting my attention or needing me to accomplish something. I know it is a blessing to have such a full and rich life, but... Some days I just long for silence.

  10. Go ahead..escape..climb that tree and see what's up there. Have you seen the movie Bright Star? Oh, it is exquisite! It is about the life of Keats. But the imagery..sigh. There is a scene where he climbs to the top of a blossoming tree and lies down and looks up at the sky. The camera is looking down upon him as his body is draped over the top of this little tree. Trees were meant for climbing, even shadow trees...go for it!


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