To the cottonwood


Do you remember how I’d walk near you on a Saturday morning? There was a grey drizzle and puddles growing all around, sometimes even a stream forming from the hillside and out the old black tube. I don’t remember rain jackets, but a grey sweatshirt that would slowly soak across the morning. I’d trace the ground with one of your sticks, reciting incantations to make the imagined come alive. They were in the form of stories featuring little villages living round the increasing puddles, and soon, they flooded from the rise of the tiny tides.

Your stately gaze was unamused. Your tastes were more dignified, high minded, mainly interested in the nimbus clouds and humidity in the atmosphere on a given January afternoon. Yet I know, you were occasionally listening to my spells as I danced by the waters, and somewhere in your roots you were desperately curious to see if the little people by the ponds would survive the downpour.

Last weekend, you were sawed at the trunk, sectioned by limb and length, and you’ll soon be bucked, split, and dried for a fire, and although the cliffhanger of tomorrow’s coming storm will now forever remain a mystery, some of your branches finally know the joy of scraping their limbs in the dirt, and telling stories from the ground.



Abigail Platter is a Seattle based Illustrator. She loves trees, jazz, castles, coffee, books, sculptures of animals, and good conversation. She is a drawing and painting instructor at Seattle Pacific University and The Workshop Academy. She is currently accepting freelance assignments.  @abigailplatter

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