February 8, 2008

I’d always liked trees so that’s where I started.
Not the dead ones, but the bright ones. Ones that

burst into colour in the middle of the summer,
in the night. Those that look like

lampshades – made of gold.
The gold is important.

Here’s what I did:

I photographed the baubles from a pound shop,
the raised foil – from off my mother’s Christmas cake,

a stack of Get Well Soons
their bright, crimped lettering.

I cut the photos into pieces,
made them into leaves,

and you know what’s coming next,
I built the tree.

Here’s what really happened:

It was an all gold tree –
Gold like Cadburys Maple Syrup,

candelabras, glittered chocolate. I made it,
but not really – it was Midas –

made me do it, forced me,
took me by the hand

and led me through the forest
stopped me at the weeping willow,

handed me the star topped tapper.
He pushed me, made me, forced me touch it –

and I did – I wish I hadn’t –
it was awful – curling crunching

as the branches sprang out upwards
in a head of ripping foils.

The sap turned molton
and the leaves ran golden

and the birds bounced thudded
on the cracking bracken ore.

By the time it was over
I’d tucked the wand into the foliage.

But not before I’d got him back.

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