In the balance


4th November 2020


Mist this morning in the breath-held wood,
a wan sun hovering dimly above.                  
The last leaves hang
a scatter of colour.
The larches here were tricked
last month, reached out fingers,
imagining spring. Undeceived,
they wilt and weep a pallid, tender green.

Spiders all night have spun fine hopes –
tented hammocks on spikes of gorse, criss-
cross nets on the barbed wire fence. Suspended
and dew-strung, cold-light-illumined, witness
these myriad thousands who wait.

This day after, high up by the gateway,
slung in balance between two stalks,
a web like a prayer flag
senses its answer and stirs.
From the Atlantic,
the slightest of breezes –
the thinnest of whispers of possible change. 



Denise Steele


(4th November 2020, the day after the American election,
marked the formal exit of the USA
from the Paris Agreement on climate change.)








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