Today, she stands under an ancient oak tree to ask questions that many women before her have asked, when it was time for them to stop looking for answers. She wants to ask the tree what it feels like to stand so still and strong, despite carrying the weight of two hundred summers and winters. What does it feel like to watch a decaying wound on the trunk turn into a secret hollow that has held generations of restless snakes and their silken echoes? Does it hurt sometimes when birds build nests on the scars of its amputated branches? What are the words that the Earth has been whispering to its roots to keep it standing tall against time? And why is it that she could never whisper the same to her unborn child before he flowed like a red farewell song between her legs? For if she knew the answers, someday, she too would have had a son with a shadow mightier than the oak.


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