Under the Sycamore

I carved my place in this world,
into the bark of a beautiful
old sycamore tree
long before I cut my teeth
on the boys who would bend
her branches.
My place was crooked
and she was hesitant,
shedding me off in big chunks
quicker than I could pierce her
flesh, but I was forceful,
and she relented.

I was young and untouchable.
Air thinning, mind spinning,
I inhaled freedom
in the muggy summer
sun, and exhaled secrets.
Spewing my soul under a canopy
of hushed greens
and swallows singing.

I hung my hopes
from her branches,
and she, catching sun,
cast stained glass
colours along my pure,
bronzed skin.

I found my peace
on mossy ground,
legs stretched, painted
pink toes tracing
the strong lines of her
supple trunk.
I spent days, like that.
Daydreaming of first kisses
and a love I didn’t understand.

I watched her fall.
Reaching tips to dying suns
as she spilled my secrets
into grey skies.
Casting shadows
upon my thirteenth year,
and the dreams she had
dropped at my feet.

I blossomed in the spring,
without her. Alone but for
the gnarled limbs
like burned branches
that carved their place
in this world, into me,
long before I cut my teeth
on the boys who would
never bend my branches.

His place was sacred
and mine. I fought,
ripping chunks of meat
quicker than he could pierce
my flesh, but he was forceful,
and I relented.

Photo Credit: wazimu0 Flickr via Compfight cc








Nicole Lyons

Nicole Lyons is a force of nature disguised as a writer, a social activist, a voice for the downtrodden, and a powerful poet with a delicate touch. She is a published author and poet featured in the books Feminine Collective’s RAW&UNFILTERED VOL I, Love Notes From Humanity; The Lust, Love, & Loss Collection, and Stigma Fighters Anthology Volume One. Her essays and poetry have also been featured in numerous literary collectives. Her debut book of poetry HUSH, published by FC Media will be released in April 2017. Nicole was inducted into The Mental health Writer’s Guild in 2015 for her work on The Lithium Chronicles, Psych Central, The Mighty, and the International Bipolar Foundation. She is a speaker and event coordinator with a Canadian nonprofit that focuses on suicide awareness and prevention in children and teens, and she lives a good life in beautiful British Columbia with her brilliant daughters and amazing husband. From a sunny porch beautiful British Columbia, Nicole is enjoying a glass of wine, and working on her second collection of poetry.

12 thoughts on “Under the Sycamore

  1. Jacqueline CioffaJacqueline Cioffa Reply

    Every stanza lives and breathes raw emotion. Such a powerful, gut – wrenching ending. 🙁
    Bravo for the bravery and truths you share. Beautiful, and real.
    I love this imagery, and send you some sun…
    “I hung my hopes
    from her branches,
    and she, catching sun,
    cast stained glass
    colours along my pure,
    bronzed skin.”

  2. John Michael AntonioJohn Michael Antonio Reply

    You are truly one of my favorite poets Nicole. I am in constant amazement at the passion, emotion and truth that you are able to fit into the ordering of your words. This is another great one and I love it.

  3. doriowendoriowen Reply

    This is lovely, Nicole. So different. I could picture everything–“painted pink toes tracing the strong lines of her supple trunk. I spent days, like that.” I love this so much. Yes, I say this every time-but this is just…lovely. xoD.

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