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The Fallen Tree

by peter burrows

The winds had returned by the time

I finally got around to finding the spot

they had all been talking about.

On another day, it could have been one of any

silenced contender littering the muddy ridge.

But when I saw it, I knew. Fallen back

from the top bank onto the sloping field -

appearing as if mid-fall – its weight

taken by the land. Bushels flailing, grasping air,

writhing in the wind. I half-circled,

sizing its shapeless mass spread out

like a grounded hot-air balloon.

The nosing dog backed off

as it fanned alive once more.

Then ceased to stillness. Its fluttered feathers fell,

darkened. Had those across the water heard

its leafy collapse, its unseasonal crash?

Bending down to stroke the once sunned,

slipped crown that stood high

and anonymous among the lined crowd,

had I realised before what lives lived

in such an abundance of leaves -

almost stepping on the still-attached acorns

resting at my feet.


Peter Burrows is a Librarian in the North West of England. His work has recently appeared in the Places of Poetry anthology and The Cotton Grass Appreciation Society and The Hedgehog Press Tree Poets Nature anthologies. His poem Tracey Lithgow was shortlisted for the Hedgehog Press 2019 Cupid’s Arrow Poetry Prize.   @Peter_Burrows74


Image by Bree Anne
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