It’s late. Outside our window, shadows are hunting amongst the trees
wiping out all their kindnesses, their gentle housing of small lives,
the silver vibrations of their leaves in the wind.
Night knits together, the trees blurring
and blending till all we can see is the plain
and purl of their trunks, ribbing the dark.
Finally there’s nothing but a stark square
of black and ourselves reflected in it, the pale ghosts
of our hands, drawing together as if in prayer, closing the curtains.
And now the inside noises: TV’s staccato static,
wi-fi rustling in the folds of our brain,
the microwave’s toneless baritone,
the drone of the vacuum’s empty vowels,
ready-meals crackling in manufactured ice.
The freezer door slams. The fridge
gives several loud judders and is
silent. We don’t see
the light go out but we know it’s out.
It’s then we remember the pathways through the trees
which must still be there, even though it‘s dark.
We can’t see them but we know they’re there
and we know that small lives are moving back
and forth across them,
making small impressions
in the trampled earth
with their tiny
We look towards the window. In a while we’ll go over there
and rearrange the curtains. We’ll part the soft
folds and look out into the
dark and when we turn away
we’ll leave them open behind us
ready for the first light