The curtains and the curtain poles are down,
The grips that held them plaster over, pale
But just discernible. Another leave
Now taken from a room and sight I need –
The branches, budding, of the roadside trees.
I’m realising this is my default –
To choose a room, then place the bed to look
Direct into the branches of a tree.
First ash, in my childhood home, then holly
In an arch, then sycamore, now common lime
And weeping horse-chestnut, struggling to leaf.
And it is not coincidence – my taste?
That next I’ve found a place that looks onto
A stately park with planes that wobble up,
Those hesitant trees that ponder problems
Then peer down to find they’ve out-grown their place!
So tall – they can’t be native! Oddly-hued
By a passing decorator using up
His tins of remaindered household colours.
From Spain, half-bred Greek and American,
His disparate parents lend him several strengths,
But he hasn’t yet won my heart. Ah, let
The morning tell him to me as I rise
And every day see buds a-breaking out,
Little moleskin fruits achieve their sphere.
Still remain a novelty – I know you’ll
Begin where someone sets you, wary tree,
Too quickly noticed growing in a waste
All spindly-shooting with those palmy spreads.
I’m growing generous in spending love
Now all my natural children are bound close
And coppiced into useful poles, ideas
And metaphors that show me how we are,
So now come time to welcome even planes –
A tree I had no feelings for before.