Rowan

It is the summer of 1998 and I am in love. The hot cloistered stillness of August in the mountains, silence interrupted only by the scratching song of the insects. Even the birds are muted by the heat. She lays below me, broken but perfect in her illusory repose. My arms ache from the strain of carrying her so far but the effort, for her, was well spent. She likes it here.

It is the winter of 1999, the year begins, and I am still in love. I climb to her, the earth cracks beneath my boots. Frost, not snow, dusts the fragile frozen land. The walk is long. This time I carry no burden and my hands are free, cocooned in gloves in pockets. The lane, made tunnel by branches overhead, cuts to the left, towards the lone farmhouse on this part of the mountain. My destination however is straight ahead. Upwards and on.

It is the summer of 1998 and I am in the pub with friends. We are speaking earnestly in June’s heat of the world and its problems, a few more pints and we will have set the world to rights. It is my round when she walks in. A friend of a friend, she helps me carry drinks to the table. Later that evening we talk of poetry as I walk her to the bus stop.

It is the winter of 1999 and I leave the path, climb past the fields and hedges to the last sliver of wild which caps this mountaintop. Behind me all is silent. The weak sun hangs early and low in the bleached blue sky. No clouds, no birds, just the peaceful empty of the world’s cold sleep. I see her above me, she waves.

It is the summer of 1998 and we spend July dancing around the country. Ecstasy and LSD and a party that never seems to end. The West Country, London, The South Coast, Up North, we are everywhere and we are happy. She tells me she loves me and I tell her the same.

It is the winter of 1999 and I sit below her in love. She has opened from cunt to throat and erupted upwards, her branches leaning away from the wind, her bark smooth and soft to the touch. I wrap my arms around her trunk and lean into her. The softness of she that was gives way below me as I lay on her, in her.

It is the summer of 1999 and she is green and red and I am in love.

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