Return to Birches

  • March 15th, 2019
  • Posted in Poetry


Five years ago I pruned the birches:

Low, scrubby trees,

Wild, unkempt;

With knife, courageous love and saw,

Removed lower branches shaping

Simplified grace for future elegance.


Today I returned to see

White limbs in sunlight

Stretching upwards,

Wounds tight closed

Under swelling bark;

The loss forgotten in neat surgery.


But one branch,

Roughly torn in a thoughtless moment,

Left jagged ends

Too splintered for the bark to heal,

In lasting deformation.


Do you visit them still

To nurse our wound

And wonder if the bark has healed?


Witney 4th June 2015

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