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Secret Tree II

Perched high in the crook of the secret tree, she said aloud, "How to walk.  I wonder if I'll remember that."  Swaying in the branches for hours: her heels and toes had forgotten their gravity.  But she didn't get down.  She laid her head back against the warm, solid chest of the tree.  The leaves whispered from the ground below her, but not one remained in the branches.  

"Bare, and heavy," she said, patting the tree.  "We, tree, are kindred spirits."  For ten golden minutes, the early spring sunlight dappled her eyelids orange with shadows.  Then, tentatively, her toes tried their gravity.

She lowered herself down one branch, and it creaked under her.  Wind swirled her hair.  And she passed some time standing there, awkward tiptoe, clutching a spindly arm.  

Sitting, swinging, she alighted on the next branch, hugging the trunk.  And the next, minute after minute, until the ground was just below her, covered in old leaves and hidden roots.  No one to catch her, she jumped.  Tingles raced up her spine with the impact.  

Her feet said, "I can walk."  And she walked back through the forest.

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