David Lewis Paget
The Watching Tree - Poem by David Lewis Paget
My father called it the Watching Tree
For it turned, and swivelled to see,
He’d planted its seed in the winter weather
On top of the grave of Annabelle Feather
Who killed their mother for why, whatever,
Then hung from a hawthorn tree.
The hangman never would cut her free
While she spun and spiralled around,
Her eyes a-bulge on the village gallows
In front of the church they call All Hallows,
While urchins jeered to toast marshmallows
As Annabelle stared at the ground.
My aunts in pinafores hung on her feet
To stretch her neck with the rope,
Her tongue stuck out at least six inches
A rigid perch for the garden finches
Who pop the eyes of the one they lynches,
Once they’ve given up hope.
They laid her down in an open grave
The rope wound tight at her throat,
Planted the seeds of the tree above her
Just to remind of the murdered mother
So people be kinder to one another,
Or that’s what my father wrote.
The roots of the tree bored into the skull
Of Annabelle, in through her eyes,
Tendrils of thoughts were left forever
Deep in the well of Annabelle Feather
And sent from her eyes to the tree, whatever,
A poisoner never dies.
So still I call it the Watching Tree
For it waits till I’m not around,
Dropping its poisonous leaves whenever
It’s cold and bleak in the winter weather,
As black as the heart of Annabelle Feather
Stone cold, and dead in the ground.
1 September 2015
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