For Kathleen Jamie
clouds of white lace
in the abandoned graveyard,
the thumbprints of lichen
embroidering the graves.
A deep current of blue
surges below –
moments of sky
fixed on wet stems,
conjuring a climate
gone from this chill April dusk,
as rain comes, and light fades.
The plump loam easy with wetness –
late March, the unwrung sponge of soil
balanced by a long winter’s rain,
then opened by thaw.
I take the springy lawn in my stride,
an ash sapling tucked under each arm.
A circle described in the turf, the grassy lid
lifted, then dig –
and the packed earth comes nicely,
fresh on the spade. Fed, then watered in darkness,
the rootball unwinds, and the young tree
shivers in the wet spring air.