The Children of innocence ran by,
blossoming in their flourished glee
unaware that a stunted hunger
was hooking itself, slowly, around their knees.
It was a shrivelled tree, with tiny twigs
wallowing in its own misery.
As the children scurried around its roots
the balding tree was malting leaves.
As night descended on this park
on a pleasant hornet heath,
the children did not fear the dark
as they did not fear the shedding tree.
But what the children could not muster
was what this plant did truly need
It was not polycinthesis
but for these fresh faced youths to bleed.
One by one they said farewell,
walking through tall grass to dreams
until one small soul was left standing
as the tree hooked round his knees.
With that small hook he was a sinker
and the roots could not suppress their glee,
they drew him in, down through the ground,
crushed him and sucked him with great greed.
The next day all the town had heard
of the lost boy on the heath.
All that was left of his last moments
were bloodied trainers by the tree.
Forensics came and blocked the path
unaware of giving youths safety
but the tree did not care, it was full
from the macabre morsel of its last meal.
With no D.N.A or sign of the boy
life soon returned to normality
as it was before the boy was lost
to the hunger of the consuming tree.
And with time ticking weeks went by
and soon children went back to the heath;
they noticed with a simple wonder
the hard buds, mid-blossom, on the tree.
They had little knowledge of life’s sciences,
of the understanding of plants and trees
but had they known of the peculiarities
so close to them they would have fleed.
Instead they remained, to laugh and play
in their sun-kissed revelry.
They chased and tugged, hugged and shouted
in their joy, implicitly.
The moon took over from the sweltered sun
as night descended with a silent creep.
The children would run through the wild, tall grass
to their warms beds, to a sweet sleep.
All but two remained to stay and play.
They danced and skipped around the tree,
but in the dusk they lost their footing;
tripped by the root which hooked their knees.
In cold confusion they saw each others faces
and in unison tried to move their feet
but the wooden snake was wrapped round tight
and the ground opened its jaws, ready to eat.
Three children down in the sleepy village
Parents lived in terror for their children on the heath.
All that was left of these tragic children
was bloodied clothing left by the tree.
With all of the attention and scope in the area,
nobody noticed the flourishing tree;
it’s branches imposing, its twigs sharp as swords,
its roots spreading out, food in easier reach.
The children stopped their innocent playing,
the wild grass cut to below the knee.
Once the shadowed, whispering dusk descended
doors were locked, and no one was free.
Over time the tree lost its raw, red oak colour
and the ground surrounding it appeared to bleed.
Over time the tree shrunk and shrivelled,
stunted by its own heinous need.
One day a parent of a lost boy
came and sat down by the anaemic tree.
Months had passed with no answers,
here stood a Father: a prisoner of misery.
He walked slowly round the stunted oak
as a dark descended on the heath.
He noted the pale wood and rusty grass
and took a closer look at what he had seen.
Looking inside the blossoming bud,
he became consumed in grimy grief.
It was as cloying as the fragile flower;
He saw inside the bud were teeth.
But these were not teeth of adult size,
these were milky, pure and sweet.
A horror grasped its hold across his face
at this secret graveyard on the heath.
This graveyard was to remain a secret
as the man’s tears fell upon the rooted tree,
awakening its desire for human flesh;
it’s roots snaked around behind his knees.
In terror he grasped and groped at the red grass,
his last false saviour of failed safety.
It was no challenge to consume this man,
this Father, a prisoner of the tree.
He knew its secret and it crushed him
to know where his son had always been,
but as night fell and all was quiet
he succumbed to a permanent child-like sleep.
In his dreams he was reunited
with the son he had lost on the heath.
They danced and played forever together.
No more sadness, no more grief.