Identifying skeleton trees in December.
The rounded and symmetrical Oak
holds no pretence.
The leaning Ash’s phantom leaves
Pull its branches southwards to an unseen Sun.
Thawing water drips
Through the Yew’s coarse sieve.
The Beech’s lung sheds its cancer
Between two fields.
Clumps of grass hold their thoughts
Beneath a lone, neutered Sycamore.
The Scots Pine betrays allegiances
And Evergreen massacres.
The Hawthorns starve on the felltop,
Their roots slowly tugged above the horizon’s line.
Pollarded Pear Trees hold their breaths and
Passively await their summer yokes.
The Hornbeam’s arms form the
Outline of a fluted vase.
The Monkey Puzzle’s storied branches
Hold a hierarchy of winter birds.
Silver Birches cling possessively to three leaves,
Holding on ‘til January’s gales.
The Willow’s feathery buds,
Waft gracefully despite the brisk wind.
The Poplar reaches, and
Forgets its first-hand holocaust.