Return to Birches

Return to Birches

Five years ago I pruned the birches:
Low, scrubby trees,
Wild, unkempt;
With knife, courageous love and saw,
Removed lower branches shaping
Simplified grace for future elegance.

Today I returned to see
White limbs in sunlight
Stretching upwards,
Wounds tight closed
Under swelling bark;
The loss forgotten in neat surgery.

But one branch,
Roughly torn in a thoughtless moment,
Left jagged ends
Too splintered for the bark to heal,
In lasting deformation.

Do you visit them still
To nurse our wound
And wonder if the bark has healed?

Witney 4th June 2015