Young Andrew

Young Andrew is counting his money.
Bright, butter-yellow coins, king-faced, heavy coins.
The shadow of the tree spreads over his lap, spreads over his money.
The shadows of the leaves spread over him.

They have broken his legs and tied him by the neck to this tree.
His arms they have left him, whole and entire.
He runs the money through his fingers.
The light flashing from the coins distracts his eyes.
The coins fall into his lap, two, three, four.

The trees reach up for the sun.
The shadow of the tree spreads across the clearing.
No light flashes now from his money.
There are noises in the woods.
He screamed when they broke his legs, screamed when the rope bit into the flesh of his neck.
Now he is silent.
The money clinks as he counts it.

There are eyes watching him from the spaces beneath the trees.
Young Andrew sees the eyes only.
They will not move until it is nighttime.
He sees them coming from the trees, spreading over the lawn, long tails flowing, white teeth and green eyes, Sennacherib…
But night is not yet.
Young Andrew is counting his money.
Bright, heavy coins.