Where the wildings are

On the scrubland, up by the pool
Is a hedge, bird-planted,
Irregular, gnarled, bowing –
Part-clipped by passing walkers,
Rubbing shoulders with dangling limbs
Of dappled haw and speared blackthorn;
And just where the path forks,
Where the blackbirds forage,
Is a runt of a tree –
Contorted twigs,
Rucked-up bark,
Leaves, blotched and marked –
Feral street kids
Searching for favour
Amongst the big lads.
Yet the fruit shines as it falls now,
Some glossy where it’s smiled at the sun,
More, lime green and bashful
Most, tumbled and fallen,
Littering the path – a cider-mulch
Sweet like Valhalla’s mead –
The only Gods here, the hawk moths
And feasting crows.
No orchard this –
No tending, nor pruning,
No skirting, nor grafting –
Just the illicit love children
Of a discarded Orange Pippin
And – who knows? Perhaps noble lineage
A Foxwhelp or Peasgood’s Nonsuch?
For now though, these bastard children,
These wildings, rule the republic
Unhampered.

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