When we woke the wind had dropped,
but power out, clock stopped, six huge elms
lay splayed all around the village pond -
two hundred years of swagger drained away.
And we pronounced them dead,
impressed the death of trees seemed
so much bigger than ours could be.
The earth keeps moving.
So memories of heavy horses, brasses shining,
a momentary vogue for Dutch barn building
(sandstone brick, pale Georgian paint),
or Shelley’s local popularity,
the coming and going of damp smoke,
the hug of village life, or young men
mustering for drill beneath the shade
(imagining Kipling, finding Arras),
were all left hanging in a point in space,
soft voices dead, in the unaccustomed sound of quiet.
Josephine Shaw, London, UK