Broad leaves swing loose, near-unhinged. Noosed
to limbs, swaying gravely without season.
Verging on abscission, oxidizing
copper-tinged, thread-thin necks crane, glint, shift
between whisper and hiss.
Like the shimmer of a sequin-scaled dress, its ombre glitter
is too proud of itself for how common it is.
Thrusts on edges of thickets down shafts so deep
that stubby-fingered fire can't wring its roots. Sprouts into ashes,
tall as Gloria in excelsis deo, sheds furry grey flowers like post-
apocalyptic summer snow.
Shred into excelsior to bed fragile goods in crates, rescues
oak-casked red wine from centrifuging en route.
Mortised and tenoned into a rough cross.
Populus tremula, the crux.
It quivers like shot arrows' bow
and shushes its' own secrets for show.
From Ringsend (2012) by Stevie Howell.