13 November 2015

Winter

~for Khotsofalang

Surely our walk will soon be
a thing of past dreams,
given that since you left
there have been no options,
brother, for body or for mind;
and this park where you lie
holds no promise of release.
We sit listening to wind
slap the leaves of the oak
that grows on your grave.
To weed the mound, dig up
and chuck away dandelions,
tufts of tussock still stuck
to our memory, to hoe, claw
the surface with our hands
and water it with salt
is to accept the solitude
of your room. On a clear day
in winter one can see the tree
far off, gnarled in abscission,
reaching to grab heaven
by its lapels. Seasons come.
Wrapped in bark against
the chill, the tree homes birds
in its branches. Meanwhile,
throughout summer, its roots
drink the life of your blood
that clings to leaves floating
earthward on wings,
till once more winter brings
its blackest evening of ice.
------

(from 'Things that are silent', Pindrop Press, 2012)

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