After the hurricane

After the hurricane my father walked beside me in the woodland broken down; he’d known it as a child and now his wife, my mother, on the far side of the wall we came to in the end, the churchyard wall, had left him to complete his time alone. Wave after breaking wave of shredded leaf. Medusa roots. Spilt sap. A ruined nest. One yew tree torso with a wound as white as chicken flesh, but fringed with human red. He never spoke. She kept her silence too. I chose to keep the proof for later on, when my own turn would come to see my life had finished sooner than my heart allowed.

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