Poetry by Amanda McLeod : Old Growth

Poetry by Amanda McLeod : Old Growth

Old Growth

Twilight hums around me as I step

outside. The air is crisp and nibbles

my fingertips as I hug myself

against the gathering dusk.

The hay crushes sweet beneath

my bare feet, wandering

towards the orchard. The trees

sing to me, old songs with forgotten

words, wind and leaves

their voices. Memories stir,

of something hovering

at the edge of light,


A solitary crow alights upon a

withered branch, shrieking

its harsh call, a warning. I shake

my head, as if the very action

might dislodge the ghosts

afloat in my head, among the shadows

lengthening at bases of

trunks. Blue-purple blooms


in the small spaces of the orchard,

the small spaces of my mind.


I have always felt at home

in dark places.

I step between

twisted branches

heedless of the crow’s rising

hysteria, flapping and cawing with

impotent rage from its perch.


I turn and tell him loudly

that my folly is none

of his business

and that should the orchard

consume me

it would be


The creature is not my


Not like the darkness

that swells among the fallen

apples. I slide my bones between    

                                                             the bones of trees,


their ghosts, the rotting corpses of their children,

and with the last echoes of tree-hymn


I vanish

leaving a ball of black feathers

screaming unheeded warnings

into vapourous ears

while the orchard laughs

leaf-trembles and bids the bird

see, see what she gives us       

                                              that you cannot?