Her crumpled leaves
blot the earth like liver spots,
the wind rips through her hair,
snags and tears,
flakey catkin seeds fall away.
Pale skin cracked
and striped with stretch marks
peels away paper-thin.
She tilts her head to the sun
but he is too cold,
The redstarts left a week ago,
the silence they left turned to wormwood
making her hollow and weak.
As she shakes out the remaining seeds,
a twittering echoes around the park
and tired bramblings
flutter around her branches.
She smiles at their songs of foreign lands
and the sun turns to listen.
The warmth strokes her hair
and people stare at her silk skin,
the stark white against the blood-red ground.
The bramblings choose where to roost
and she is less afraid of the coming winter.