roots and branches
Wet afternoon archaeology
sends me dreaming back down
the damp streets of old Cwmbran.
Greyscale sketches of Christmas’s long gone
when we scampered and fought
while age sat weary on the family’s creaking roots.
Deep beneath our skipping feet
in shoes already tight,
ancient trees patiently revealed
a backyard bunker of gleaming coal,
backbreaking sacks marbled
with seams of old finger nails,
tarnished brass, graft and poor bright birds,
fuel for the fire to warm our tiny hands,
then turn to ash to feed the springtime roses.