The Last Will and Testament of Joey Velasco 

It’s a solitary tree stranded amidst the lush green grass and dandelion weeds. The wind pulls the billowy circle of seeds into the air, a blizzard blinding the horizon and the white snow capped mountains past that.

The dark clouds ominously flash as the electricity is practically humming in the air. A crack of thunder, so sharp it could be a whip, echoes off the scatter of yellow and red blossoms.

The lonely tree, sad and bent and seeming to weep, hangs it branches and leaves. It sags over with the harshness of time.
I’m here to take its final testament. I’m here to record its weeping, its pains, its sorrows, its joys, its lost hopes and dreams.

“I could have been a poet,” it creaks to me as the wind billows out its leaves. “I could have found my love on the beach under the stars.”

“I would have had a family, my own little saplings. I would have filled their heads with unrealistic truths. The truths of all I ever wanted. Of all I ever dreamed.”

“But Joey,” I respond back, with tears in my eyes, “you’re just a tree.” The thunder cracks again, no longer a looming threat. No longer a vague, ominous cataclysm past the rolling horizon. This booming menace has come down from the mountain, has made its way past the rivers, past the hills, past God itself.

“I know, Ramon. I know what I am,” Joey creaks its response. “So much for one last dream. You’ve held it underwater, you’ve stabbed it thrice. No one said you were a good man, so I expected nothing more. Go now, before it ends. You’re not welcome in my presence any longer.”

My shoulders turn, and dejectedly I walk with my hands in my pockets, away from Joey Velasco. Away from the crushed spirit. Away from the tree that withstood so many years, so much time.

I look back as lightning flashes and hits, brightening to day, if only for a moment. “I’m sorry, Joey.”





©Ramon Sturdivant


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