the window

I would make a mirror
from whatever I
have, so that you can see
that you are not
broken,
that there is nothing
to fix,
that you are not a machine,
to be utilised
or left to rust —
that, as I have told you before,
you are a living tree.

Today it seems to me
that you are a bonsai,
trunk trammelled by wires into tight
stunted twists,
roots trimmed, contained, compressed
in a box,
over-reaching branches
docked.

What is the secret
of the bonsai?

Perhaps it longs
to be a giant tree in a public park,
sheltering all kinds of creatures
from the flensing wind and blast-furnace sun,
spreading a generous mulch of leaves,
throwing up seedlings,
having initials carved in its skin
by random lovers and idlers.

Perhaps it likes
its current situation
on a sunny sill
in a small house,
the nibbles and nips
of its particular custodian,
the measured irrigation,
the admiring apprehension
of visiting connoisseurs.

Or perhaps it yearns
for nothing more
than a way
to open the window,
so it may have
the peppermint mist,
the chilli sun,
and the jasmine midnight moonlight
on its leaves.

(First published in Creatrix)

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