To Mend a Weeping Willow

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Fifty blissful years had passed the couple by,

the world never ceasing to smile upon them:

every second, each tick and tock,

capturing some moment to be treasured.

 

They sat together on a swinging bench,

peacefully staring off into the cerulean horizon.

It was there they had met—

by a young, sprightly willow tree,

on a swing facing a crystal blue river.

 

Harmonious birds sang a serene lullaby

as the couple swung back and forth,

the tips of their shoes gliding over the well-worn ground.

The timeless willow tree swayed with them,

its countless leaves moving in unison.

 

Her body leaned onto the aged wooden boards,

and her head rested comfortably—

like it did so many times before—

on his unburdened shoulder.

 

Time flowed like a gentle brook,

sliding over moss-covered memories.

His experienced hand firmly held her tender palms,

the spaces between his fingers

right where hers fit perfectly.

 

The sun slid past an animated skyline,

signaling the time to return home.

They stood up from the bench—

together, like they’ve always done—

their hands still clasped tightly.

 

Suddenly his back arched unnaturally,

and his arthritic hand clutched at his failing heart.

his foot took an uncertain step forward,

and his body collapsed like an ancient tree.

His knee dug into the soil

and his chest slammed onto the dirt with a resounding echo.

He took a shuddering last breath,

and his usual smiling face twisted with pain

as his fragile frame came to rest.

 

Her despairing cries rang like bronze church bells,

as she kneeled by the limp body.

She grasped the cold, now lifeless hands,

and her lonesome tears splashed upon his cheeks,

like flower petals settling on the bare earth.

 

Here, I stand, at the precipice of my solid present and uncertain future.

Hoping, my heart soars above the clouds, toward my dreams,

and yet I must remain aware of the chasm—

one that divides my dreams from my reality.

And in that chasm blinks the ever-present eyes of poverty:

costs of college, medical school, and residency casts long, ominous shadows.

 

Impassioned, determined, and ambitious,

I find support in friends, family, teachers,

pushing myself as far I possibly can.

I am ready to rid myself of scanned copies of homework,

to instead work for the greater good,

caring for the health as a doctor—

to save lives and blossom smiles.

I am ready to take the leap of faith:

but here I stand at the precipice of an uncertain future.

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