…when sheltering was a game:
that hollow tree by the meadow – our house.
When a sun shower was the name
for a break in the journey to the weir for a swim.
And nobody drowned
and no one got lost in the woods
and there were no woodcutters to flatten the grass
only ever bending from the weight of raindrops.
It was a tree with an opening
into a womb lined in moss; shelter
for the game of storms, wolves,
terrible men with black beards,
dark witches bringing us to tears,
hunting us down, to cut off our fingers.