Unless the seed. . .

Unless the seed. . .

On one side
            the long neatly trimmed box hedge
                        a fragility of shimmering bronze
            in the fast fading half-light
                        of this misbegotten winter’s day

On the other
            by the lap-panelled fence
                        an apple tree – perhaps a Bramley –
            from which all but two crisp leaves have fallen
                        but to which twenty or more

apples
            still cling on for their dear fruitless lives
                        roundly reluctant to detach
            to tumble gravely to the ground
                        to take their chances in the damp

fertile soil
            Soon it will be dark : soon
                        the endless agony of the long night
            will grip those prone to despair while
                        ravenous couples gorge on scraps

of unrequited love
            Outside the unkempt lawn is marked
                        with narrow trails blazed by frisky cats
            and foxes that gently indent the lush green grass
                        as they ply their necessary trade

John Lyons