‘Love is strong as death … many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it’ (Song of Solomon 8:6, 7).
Who is this coming along the pine trunk,
his gaze fixed steadily on mine?
His arms outstretched like a Christ on a crucifix,
wobbling slightly, he readjusts his balance,
his trainers gleaming white against
the tree’s rough bark.
One foot placed carefully, deliberately,
he treads his solitary via
while the acer in the distance
flares out its monstrance of autumn colours.
What is that drifting through the canopy,
unfurling between us like a veil?
Perfumed with the trees’ last breath
of caramel and butterscotch,
fragrant with juniper, crabapple and
woodsmoke’s tender myrrh.
Suddenly he comes running, bursting through
the pall in his new green hoody, its hue
as fresh and zingy as the first spring buds,
his arms swinging out in an embrace
that knows no wintry withering
or the woodman’s calculated cut.
By Alison Collins
This poem was awarded 3rd prize in the Poems Please Me Prize 2014
Alison has her stories published regularly in Pembrokeshire Life
Illustrated by Harry Ibach