Walking home the long way,

face half-battered with shadows,

the sulky adolescent dark

of losing a sunshine hour,

making strangers of ourselves

and those accusing branches

pointing jaggedly at heaven.

The soft ounce of a sigh

in the woodsmoke breeze

is the sound of you remembering

plums the colour of bruises,

feeding me fruits

fresh from the bowl of your hand.

The sweet drops pearling our fingers.


But the plums dropped off

like fat blisters.

In months, our days had soured

and darkened to history’s colour

and all too soon

the wind had made cold trees of us,

naked and small, rough as the wood

which blackens and cracks

until we are left here uprooted,

half-crying into the white air

of the shorter days

and the loveless firs;

of a winter lethal with frost.


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