Hedges are supposed to be thick affairs,
not these measly attempts at romance,
but they dance in the wind all the same.
Their ankles are exposed, they’ve grown out
of their trousers, that sit, greenly childish, on
their hips. They are a dishevelled border,
the fields bleed through them. Grey rabbits
are obvious by their feet – they should be
hidden by green. Plastic shields lie
discarded, as they bare their shins
through growing. This is a broken romance,
but a romance all the same, the birds
shift in sheltering arms and flowers
adorn their green clothes in garlands
of spring. The wind lifts pale leaves
like a father lifts his child – to dance.
It’s been long enough that the bones,
with cold, don’t remember how to move,
lips grasp at fleeting words and lose
the will to speak in failing, words dethroned
at the behest of winter. Bodies are stones
but address each other like the blues
in the empty sky, minds are confused
by the intimacy of silence – it’s grown,
the hedge, since we last visited, how,
when all we’ve ever seen is brown leaves
and tiny birds singing in chapped voices.
Yet, even here, with the cold, even now
our blood is evident – are you grieving?
Or are your lips bleeding with choices.
The pale reeds he frequents are frozen,
they shift and shiver with the aches of wind,
in the hollow the water has chosen.
And snow lies, like the cold discarded skin
of the fallen sky – brown wings are breathless
and draw shaky lines through a day worn thin.
An official looking fence was helpless
against my advances – through the half-light
I glance to his fluttering wings, much less
easy to distinguish in the half-night,
harder to see amongst the creaking reeds,
my feet are agitated, out of sight
amongst the tangled knot of snow and leaves –
as my breath settles, winter in my throat;
he flies at will through the cold-weary trees
as though he could escape the hold that chokes
the sky and the reeds: earth wears a cold coat.