22. The path
The sea is melting into floes.
The melt-water softens our dogs’ paws and ice splinters their toes.
We tie seal-skin boots they try to flick off.
We sled the ice-foot, the belt of shore-fast, until the air is as crass as the water
The grown is patched brown like our faces.
We stand with knees tucked, bent backed until the wind blows thin willows slack
against the sky.
Who is happier than us to be alive?
It’s easy to see the copse as a corpse – but trees are trees.
Give us breath or give us death, Victor!
We struggle through the willows till they become the pines we’ve had in our mind
for some time.
Snow mixes with dirt – bare-black.
The mountains behind us slip away flat-packed.
We walk a path of flowers pale and pink until we hear Victor, in the trees, ready
to fall like snow.
Under our feet the flowers crack, blue as glass.
Under our feet, the dogs circle, the shadows of the birds circle.
A change in the wind is a change in our luck.
Uncovered: a rusty chainsaw, an orange…