The barren branches of the blackened tree,
In supplication do skyward stretch,
Her frail limbs now a mere hazy sketch,
Of bygone opulence and majesty:
Watching the sun’s gilded setting splendour,
She laments being so cruelly stripped,
Her emerald cloak ruthlessly ripped,
From her now ailing form bruised and tender.
Her limbs a dark web of inverted roots,
With tapered arms pointed like daggers,
Her trunk by frosts blunted and battered,
Wishing now for her plump, ruby-red fruits:
Oh that spring would come quickly with her crown!
Cursing the bitter October gusts,
Whose swords with brutal and swooping thrusts,
Cleaved from her her leafy, glittering gown.
The blackness of the tree does slowly merge,
With the violet, darkening sky,
And the cawing crows that pass her by,
As through the night air they glide and surge:
She is grateful to the kindly darkness,
For sharing with her his inky frock:
Though the cackling crows do jest and mock,
That the sun will rob her of her black dress.
Now all her branches shiver and tremble,
Seeming to quiver from bitter chill,
It is the gales swaying her at will,
Though she stands firm and proves her mettle,
Withstanding the cruelties of nature,
Stoically bearing the crows’ laughter:
No matter how barbarous the squall,
This omnipotent tree will never fall.
Rana Shabibi is a graduate in English Language and Literature from the University of Leeds. She works as a freelance Spanish to English translator. Her poetry has been published in Lucent Dreaming, a magazine for emerging artists and writers. She loves animals and rural life and lives in the Oxfordshire countryside.