My safe place

5:06 AM

As a very small child I lived on a farm with a huge yard that sloped in the front down to the street and was straight in the back lined by a tobacco field (this was late eighties, too. Not the sixties!) The property had an old outhouse that was closed off, a shed where my stepfather stored his old cars, a well (also closed off) and a huge barn. We only kept horses as that was the reason we moved there in the first place. My mother and stepfather had been married only for about four or five years at that point and the horse and farm was his way of thanking her for moving up north from the south.
    While it was great to have horses around and lots of space to run, the best spot on the whole big property was a cluster of three HUGE pine trees. Their trunks were separated just enough to make room for a fort. Their huge, green branches fell heavily towards the ground covering little bodies perfectly. the "ground floor" could fit three to four children at a time and the "top floor" (only used for my tree climbing brother) could have fit many more, but the rest of us preferred the ground.
   I could spend hours there pretending I was living on the prairie by sweeping with a fallen branch and cooking with sticks and plastic cups. When my brother came out to play he would go up to the top and I would set us up to blast off to the moon. He drove, of course. And once we were on the moon we would sneak out onto the strange land outside and discover it had a sandbox and swing set and even a couple of very small people similar to our little brother and sister. Other times it would be our hideout from the Nazis as we were Jewish children trying to stay alive (how in the world did I know about that at age 7?). At one point I think my brother's favorite gun got buried there for the next time we played "Jewish children."
   But then, a few months after moving to the farm house my stepfather decided we were going to ruin the trees if we kept playing underneath them and forbid us to continue going there. We did anyway, as he was gone quite often. And we got in trouble a few times for disobeying before we gave it up completely. But there were a few more time that I sneaked out there just to sit under those huge, ancient green beasts and feel enveloped, alone and safe.


This post was inspired by Mama Kat's pretty much world famous writing workshop....but I obviously don't know how to read closely to instructions because this prompt called for a poem. And now I am out of time. Oh, well. Hope you enjoy the prose!

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