Thursday, 6 October 2016

The autumn of grief



The family tree is broken,
the main branches diseased and fallen.
Only this stump remains.
This tree has been pruned too far back.
You can kill a tree with too much pruning;
some varieties just want to grow 
free.

This tree once had dreams,
wanted to be a palm on a distant beach,
dripping with coconuts and
swaying to the beat of a calypso wind.
But now she stands like a lump of lead, 
dormant in the damp earth 
on the brink

of autumn.
Dormant but not silent,
she whispers in the dark,
tells grim tales of long winters
and deforestation. 

I tie her to a stake,
smother her feet in fallen leaves
and water them with tears.
I watch them break down
to feed the soil.

Just now this tree cannot grow,
so she lies low,
waits for spring.
New life will surely come one day
not too far away.
Not today.