Etiolated sappy leaves flop beneath a hard frost
The temperament of the blue woods is like a woman
Without a man she loves; gone overseas without a letter
In the fields the confused birds take straws to build nests
Abandoning them to swiping winds and icestorms
The moon closes her eyes and dreams of a white unstained bed
Change is tiny painful cracks on stone
Flowers shudder on pale stalks
Wondering if they are mistaken
Rain soaked, bruised and blown.
Indirah packs a box of small baby clothes
As her sons lean back in cushioned chairs
Blanking her and their vagrant sister
The mother listens to the child’s ghost voice:
Was she seen under ice?
Eyes turned upward to the roiling clouds.
Veronica Aldous 2016 All rights reserved
Photograph of cyclamen Veronica Aldous