Stones, Bones and Roots

We walked
me and Grandad
through malingering woods
stopping to read
moss maps with our fingers
Braille in bark

Grandad’s hands gnarled
as the wood
mine smooth
unlined urban pink
to his chestnut bronze

we shelter
beneath The Four Brothers
a road map of roots
as though alive

Grandad pries secret spaces

extracts a metal tin
the Queen’s face
in diffuse dreamy light

a twist of hair
a faded photograph
a pressed violet, paper thin
a polished pebble
stygian sloe

breath plumes
fingers entwine
we remember
those trees
our woodland shrine

Alyson Faye
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