Whiskery tips to the branches and a gaunt
darkening in the leaves are a sign of disease.
There is writhe in the trunks, knuckle
and burr, a lost-wax grief to fissured bark.
This year the buds never looked more
mythological – pollen dusting everything
with gold. The god who can see the future’s
hanging there and if we don’t feel sorrow,
we might as well be dead. Underground,
the trees’ sickness shares a root system
with my mycorrhizal rage. Its spores mist
my eyes so, walking through the tunnel of ash,
I see not light at the end but a twist
in the road, an impassable wall, gloaming.