New Winds

by Lynn Woollacott

Apple trees fell long ago to the red fungus,
rose bushes shrivelled to brittle twigs.
Early leaf fall finished off
the trees in the distant wood.
The holly bush clings to life, black flies
gather into its curled leaves and lick frozen sap.
Hedgehogs with hunched shoulders
and visible ribs rummage among bones of blackbirds.
Slugs crawl onto windows, wailing
at their new found size and expertise, they’ve
adapted to the green fungus that thrives on polymers
of spider webs. There’s been no fattening up
of foxes, squirrels or hare;
most mammals have taken to hollow dwelling
in gardens. They huddle together, dish out
the last of the acorns, share crisp ladybirds,
munch on rain beetles that fell with the cold spell.