by Louise Gallagher

bare naked  limbs 
hanging on to memory  
of a branch fallen 
against wind-worn trunk 
standing stalwart 
against time 
and weather battering 
limbs and breaking boughs 
made fragile by the wind  
blowing relentless 
through your branches 
sheltering the sap within 
that flows 
more slowly now 
with each passing season.  

I lean against your body 
scars and ridges harsh 
against my cheek. 
I too am facing
time’s relentless pull  
I whisper 
into the wrinkles etched 
upon your weathered skin. 
My body tells the same story 
of time passing 
of life lived 
sometimes walking 
with the wind 
sometimes against 
my limbs move, 
not as smoothly now, 
the bones more fragile 
able to break 
with one fall 
yet still I stand 
stalwart against time 
while inside 
the blood flows 
as I weather life’s journey 
leaving me exposed 
to each passing season.