In the scattered wood she wraps her arms against
the wind in hope of keeping safe
what is already gone.

She stops at intervals to check new growth.
Ash holds tips like the tiny black hoofs
of a miniature goat.

Beech is budded in overlapping folds of
copper, elegant as a slender woman
sheathed in silk.

Chestnut branches bulge, vulgar,
fat with promise, expectant.
She blinks, looks away.

Crab apple’s bark is ancient, wrinkled.
Buds look dead. She swallows and
moves on.

Holly wears clusters of grapes for a doll’s house,
foetal berries along each stem.
Her belly jags.