I see you in the house we shared
on Eaton Road in the early nineties.
My father died the year we moved in.
Two years later you were gone.

A walnut yearns for summers
long enough for its fruit to ripen.
We held on like clothes to a line
losing faith in the pegs.

An ash bends in the gale.
Leaf by leaf, our promises died.
I couldn’t remove your ring
from my swollen finger.

A slow willow doesn’t know yet
what autumn’s for. It will still
have leaves when the year turns,
old sores growing back.

A young beech counters early frost
with an orchestra of colour.
When the wind lifts its stick
the leaves begin to play.