This was first posted on a private blog, 24 March, 2011.
She came bearing branches –
bus to train to train,
sheltering fagility as best she could,
then, up the hill, past an old friend’s grave
and a blessing of blossoms.
Usually, she brings branches in December:
dark, and bare on St Barbara’s Day,
pink and new born for Christmas.
‘What tree is this?’ I’d asked,
‘what is it like in Spring?’
so seven years and a season later, she came.
We spoke of cats and trees and journeys,
her husband, no longer at home,
and his clear certainty that she should wear red.
The things she really came for hung in silence,
and our time ended too soon
to reach through the cracks of our defences.
I think of her now, a blessing –
train to train to bus,
sheltering fragility as best she can.