Eight Years Old

Eight Years Old and Evergreen

by Hayley Boyle

Reaching clear into the sky,

stretching limbs and fingers out—

as if to pull the sky closer—

our side-yard cedar

became like a second home for my

scabby knees and calloused hands.

My face freckled among its branches,

mirroring the bark,

dappled and flecked

with sun and beetles and specks of dirt.

Climbing into its canopy

filled my small body with joy.

An escape into a world

of marching ants

sparrows flitting from bough to bough

sap that would stick to my palms

for days following hours among needles and cones

lingering, reminding me that


does not exist

but miracles do.

They smell like an evergreen

and look like an eight-year-old,

swinging her legs, carefree,

reaching higher, touching the heavens.


Featured in our January 2022 issue, "Generosity"