The Promise of Trees
by Lucy Berry
In flaming colour and umber murmur
of terracotta-rusted glamour
we speak our sunset-streaked vermilion valour
of wordless dying.
In city streets and ducal parkland,
on urban squares and heath and moor
we make again the promise which we pledged each year before:
that dying is…. nothing
This mere one fire failing, solely, one greenness-ailing
is the great-cycle, grand-sadness of one season’s farewell bidding
phoenix foliage ridding
our sturdy selves of another verdant year
the sloughing, shrugging, shedding of the necessary tear
this amber-plumed, ochre pyre
is heart to the promise we give;
that we die and are mourned and are lost.
But that next year we live.