Silver Age

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,

                                    too distant.


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.