About Place Journal, Volume II Issue I
These youngsters, shallow of root
and thin of bark, are far from
the Tree of the World; they’ll split
no bole to cradle a rickety child nor drop
their keys to heal a gout. They grow
away from fevers, infections, dropsy
or stitch; they’ll lend no leaves
to the snake-bit, protect no hearts.
They’ve shared no honey to seal
a family, have no place to call home.
All image, all appearance, they can only
spread harm where they roam.
Felled by lightning-strike or chainsaw,
split by weight or wind, bridged
across a stream or logged and piled
in a farmer’s field; it lives.
Willow drives roots down
from bleached and crumbling flesh,
sends slender shoots up to jostle
for sun, to grow lusty leaves
that tremble with the force they hold.
Alive, it insists when the wind blows,
Angela France lives in Gloucestershire, England. She has had many poems published in the UK and elsewhere and has been anthologized a number of times. Her published books are Occupation (Ragged Raven Press) and Lessons in Mallemaroking (Nine Arches Press); her next collection Hide is due out from Nine Arches in 2013.