Corbin, Kentucky is mine. The damp, heavy woods in summer, the sharp stones in the creek, the Potter boys and our tadpole farm attempts and then the early morning disbelief when we found our pools were empty. We didn’t understand that they’d probably just gotten on with their lives; we felt a darker thing at work.

The tree house just behind the Potter’s property is mine. The Donald Duck comic books we read aloud, the porn left behind from the neighborhood teenager’s failed tree house coup, the worms we threw at future intruders, scrapes on our knees from slipping on the muddy ladder.

The tiny balcony off the upstairs dining room is mine. I would live out there for hours with a boom box and perform to the attentive woods. Once, with Bon Jovi as my soundtrack, the wind was mine and I bent it and forced it to charge and sway. I was relentless, but the trees were forgiving.

The rusty nail I stepped on was mine. I never had shoes on, but had no fear of snakes or ticks and no repercussions, save for that nail. I changed it to “probably just a sharp stick” when I heard talk of Tetanus and I’ve survived to tell the story.

I can feel how heavy the wood was, how thick the air. I can hear the creek and taste the dirt. I look up now and can cry thinking about the way those limbs would sway over me. There was both danger and sanctuary, tangled and strong from root to leaf.

My job was to get lost and build forts. To cast spells with mushrooms and slime, collect the feathers and bones from the damp piles the predators would leave behind and then to let it all go. The trees would handle everything else.

I'm a singer/songwriter, photographer, nature, food and book enthusiast with a story to tell and that my website is lizakate.tumblr.com

Liza takes classes with Valley.