Gone Lawn
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Gone Lawn 39
Winter Solstice, 2020

New Works

David Henson

Seven Steps for Removing the Treehouse

Step 1. When the treehouse haunts you more than you can bear, gather your courage and tools.

Step 2. Be prepared for wind. If boughs creak and groan, you might imagine it's the tree crying out: What's become of the laughter that mingled with the squawks of my squabs and chitter of my squirrels?

Step 3. Starting at the top, dismantle the roof. Toss the boards to the ground. (The tree may try to hold on to a few. You can free them later as you climb down.)

Step 4. Pound loose the sides. I took this wood into my bosom, protected and accepted it as my own.

Step 5. Remove the flooring. I felt the pulse of small footsteps on these planks. Why do you take them from me now?

Step 6. Unbolt the braces. You chose me because my trunk is thick, and my roots deep. What have I done to deserve this loss?

Step 7. Dispose of the lumber in a bonfire. May the flames consume me as well.

David Henson and his wife have lived in Belgium and Hong Kong over the years and now reside in Peoria, Illinois. His work has been nominated for Best Small Fictions and Best of the Net and has appeared in numerous print and online journals including Fictive Dream, Pithead Chapel, Moonpark Review and Literally Stories. His Twitter is @annalou8.