Trees at the end of the garden are golden,
amber, lemon among lime
but my mother’s pencil flits over paper
silvering outlines she can see
of a ghostly steeple, a roof and a path,
before she turns them into colour.
Applied with the flat of a squirrel-tail
brush, thin washes in dove, aqua,
citrine, but much of the white’s
lying empty before she squiggles
over the earlier scatter of patches
while the jam jar’s water
turns from sky, through leaf to earth
and has to be changed to invisible.
The painting’s a dapple, it doesn’t make sense
till frostings burn, they illuminate
with umber and ochre, forest, petrol –
the gate hangs crooked to the church.
White stone crosses, laid with flowers.
Real trees, giving up their transient leaves.