The First Forest

I took her hand and put it against the tree trunk. She shivered. Not just from the cold, I knew, nor from lack of trust in me, but still, the contact with my hamd was a shock.

Where she came from, there were no trees. Not in her part of the country, anyway, and certainly not her village, made of sandstone bricks. And dust.

Her hands were still chafed, with palms rough, from making flat bread all day most days, burning her fingers on the wooden-heated oval oven plate. Who knew where the wood came from.

One brother transported wood and other necessary items to the village from afar, and the other was in the Taliban, attacking such small convoys, in an effort to break the utterly corrupt, foreign-controlled society.

Now, here, in my forest, her eyes and slow smile spoke of peace. But her hand still trembled, against the tree trunk.

pine needles
and fresh air
tea for
the soul



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