By Letty Wilson
The bark is wet and slippery to climb
smooth-wrinkled, seamed with rain, and gaping mouths
of branches broken, healed to rounded lips:
handholds, and a seat in curving boughs,
beech trees shaped like feet and hands, for holding.
Grey-skinned like ghosts, like elephants, like leather
from old boots, blackened by the rain that runs
in seams and cracks down bellies, necks and limbs.
Waxy skin resisting ink, that blots
the base and floods the ground in dead red leaves,
a flood, a depth, a brightness under skies
like spilled milk, scratched at by the shivering twigs
above where leaves fall soft, and rain falls softer
and bird calls sharper, falling all through boughs
like limbs with long-lost hands, that keep on holding
leaves in pools of blotting, blurring red.
The colours always brighter in the rain,
but blurring also, pouring through these fingers.
Letty Wilson is an as-of-yet unpublished writer who studies English and creative writing at Aberystwyth university, when she remembers.