He lifts his left foot.
He lifts his right.
Struggle accompanies each of his steps.
He carries the tree.
Two hands on the root ball.
Between his two knees.
Holding the spade with his teeth.
He is unsure of how many more steps he can take.
Leaves wilt as he calculates.
He and the tree.
They are in need of a high-speed escape.
Instead, they waddle to his hiding place.
His grip starts to slip.
So too does the tree’s patience.
It injects hundreds of root tips into his palms.
He tries dropping the tree.
Roots burrow deep into his hands.
They seek the spark that powers his being.
Invade his blood stream.
Worm their way into his veins.
Enter his heart.
Search all four of its chambers.
He has hidden his spark.
He has hidden it well.
He no longer can find it himself.
But, the tree finds it.
Tucked deep down in the corner of the left ventricle
It is magnificent.
More than the tree could ever imagine.
The tree feeds.
Bowed branches lose their bend.
Give and you will receive.
The tree heeds this universal decree.
Reverses the flow of reciprocity.
He feels his fingers lengthen.
His grip strengthen.
He peels away his left hand.
Holds it up to his face.
Roots sprout from each of his finger tips.
They wrap up his wrist.
Swirl around his forearm.
Spiral all sides of his bicep.
Circle his shoulder.
Travel his trapezius.
Leaving a root sleeve.
They line the length of his spine.
Tunnel into the clay.
Thread up and down his vertebrae.
Radiate throughout his nervous system.
Intertwine with every nerve ending.
Volts of electricity jolt his core.
Ignite the growth of his corporeal form.
His shoulders widen.
His neck thickens.
Facial hair sprouts.
His limbs lengthen.
His left horn grows.
He heightens by inches.
His clay facade.
Is not meant for this stretching.
Get wider and deeper.
Lay bare a stratification of sedimentation.
He has a history of reapplication.
Deliverer of the violence.
Determines the various depths.
Betrays various shapes.
Partial hand imprints.
On his body.
On his face.
There are lunar formations.
On his forearms.
On his neck.
Four crescent moons.
Arrayed in alignment.
All of them patched.
He no longer remembers how he got them.
Nor was he conscious of all of his layering.
As he grows and grows.
More and more wounds are exposed.
It hurts them both.
He bites harder on the spade between his teeth.
He and the tree have a task to complete.
For this, the tree gives him physical strength.
Enough for him to own his personal space.
A necessary prerequisite.
To get them to his hiding place.
But, not enough to complete the task.
For that, he will need a different type of strength.
His growth reaching capacity.
It is time to leave.
He heaves the tree’s root ball onto his shoulder.
Its roots and his sleeve interweave mutually.
He strides across the land.
Carrying the spade in his free hand.