His head protrudes like the top of a bust, only he’s trying to free himself before the silent executioners at work in the city reach him and his home: the tree.
Each morning he sticks out a little further. He watches us, and his head, voiceless, turns as we walk past.
We debate whether we should help him; whether we should gather our tools and creep out of our houses at night before the executioners reach him; whether we should free him and save his home, but by the time we decide to take action there’s nothing left of him but a stump. On its surface are circles accounting his existence. That image stays with us, and we leave to go home where we will wait for the overseers to reach us too.