The oak tree
A misshapen old man
that barred our way to school.
We would sidle past, caps over our eyes,
the aged oak in Greenfield Avenue,
so wide the path went round it;
startling, lurid growths
broke away from its crevices,
crumbling at a touch.
Aware of beauty, we gathered
cobwebs, glistening with dew
and sunlight, netting them as gleaming fish
in rock pools, with bent twigs.
In those days we still saw hedgehogs,
they weren’t unusual, bumbling along
in front of our footsteps,
or curled up, defying calamity.