ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the July 2015 Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] capriuni. It also fills the "go outside" square in my 5-20-15 card for the Wellness Toolbox Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] chanter_greenie. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

"Rooting into the Future"

Alameda grew up feeling different,
but not knowing why or how.

She was the girl who learned how
to make flower crowns before
she learned how to tie her shoes.

She was the girl who wanted
to be buried in the sand
whenever they went to the beach.

She was the girl who cried for weeks
every time her family moved.

She was the girl who could
lie in the grass for hours,
listening to the wind.

In high school, she wasn't
interested in boys (or girls)
and the counselors began
to murmur about her.

No, she wasn't uncomfortable
with being a girl either, although
that set of questions did make her
more aware that she wasn't exactly
comfortable with her body.

Alameda just felt different,
and she couldn't explain it
any better than that, no matter
how many times they asked.

Then one day while she was
chopping vegetables, Alameda
nicked her finger with the knife.

Instead of blood, tree sap flowed out,
clear and sticky and sweet.

In that moment she finally realized
what made her so different.

She wasn't a girl after all.

She was a tree seed,
just beginning to sprout.

There had been another girl
in her junior high class who had
suddenly sprouted wings and
then burst into hysterics.

Alameda didn't have hysterics.

She cleaned up the kitchen,
puting away the vegetables and
the chopping board and the knife.

Then she took her laptop and went outside
in the wind and the sun and the grass, where
she sat down to begin researching places
she might like to put down roots.

For the first time, Alameda felt perfectly happy.

* * *


Alameda Strand -- She has fair skin, brown eyes, and long blonde hair with a little wave. Her heritage is mostly Scandinavian and Germanic, with some Greek and a few bits from Native American tribes. Her family has moved often, and she hates it. Alameda has always felt different and awkward. Now in high school, she is starting to shift from human to tree form, and everything makes a lot more sense.
Origin: She was born feeling more like a tree than a human, but the physical transformation didn't begin until her teen years.
Uniform: Casual girl clothes. She likes free-flowing garments, and often weaves a crown of leaves or flowers to wear in her hair.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Nature Smart, Good (+2) Grounded, Good (+2) Limber, Good (+2) Thick Skin
Poor (-2) Feeling Different
Powers: Average (0) Tree Form
Motivation: To be herself.

* * *

People may feel different from everyone else for various reasons, such as unhappy home life, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

Body dysmorphia is most often described as extreme dissatisfaction with appearance, but it can also reflect a general feeling that one's body simply doesn't feel like it fits.

Otherkin are people whose species identity does not match their body. In this case, Alameda seemed human but is really a tree with a human seed phase.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-08-19 01:31 pm (UTC)
helgatwb: Drawing of Helga, holding her sword, looking upset. (Default)
From: [personal profile] helgatwb
Huh. Now, that's interesting.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-08-19 05:51 pm (UTC)
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
From: [personal profile] capriuni
Thanks for this. ... And thanks to [personal profile] chanter_greenie for sponsoring it!

That dream image of chopping vegetables/bleeding sap (whence came this prompt) stills wants me to write about it, and I may give it another try, one of these days (I originally tried this as a short story, for a writing workshop). Coming at this from the folktale fandom, I had my protagonist be the grandson of a dryad who'd been trapped in human form, and forced into a marriage, as is a common motif in Norse and Celtic folklore (see also: selkies).


Re: Yay!

Date: 2015-08-22 11:23 am (UTC)
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
From: [personal profile] capriuni
Um... I have played with this image. It's been rolling around in my head since I dreamed it ... 33 (?) years ago.

And it's long been a pet peeve of mine that, in fantasy and literary fairy tales, being granted human form is treated like some sort of great blessing, even for creatures that were never human to begin with . Though, granted, that shape does give you an overabundance of privilege to play with.

I was just curious to see what some other brain would make of it.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-08-19 08:00 pm (UTC)
redsixwing: Red-winged angel staring at a distant star. (Default)
From: [personal profile] redsixwing
*applause applause applause*

I love this SO very much.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-08-20 12:02 am (UTC)
chanter_greenie: a lilac tree in bloom (Wisconsin spring: lilac season)
From: [personal profile] chanter_greenie
Ooooh. :) I now wonder if Alameda is going to wind up a tree-shifter (similar to Calliope's two-form shift,, only tree - female tree? and female human rather than female and male human), a humanoid with treelike characteristics, or entirely treeform and sentient. Or something else!

(no subject)

Date: 2015-08-20 02:08 am (UTC)
thnidu: flag: green, with green 5-pointed star in white square upper left (dexter chief). tinyurl.com/c4ang4g (Esperanto)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
"Female tree"... You'd say that as a single word in Esperanto: arbino.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-08-20 02:01 am (UTC)
gingicat: drawing of me based on wedding photo (Default)
From: [personal profile] gingicat

(no subject)

Date: 2015-08-30 06:11 pm (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
This is a nice glimpse into an alien mindset. I hope Alameda finds a place to settle, root, and be happy.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-08-19 05:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] westrider.livejournal.com
I know some of that tree feeling :)


Date: 2015-08-19 08:27 am (UTC)


ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

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