This poem is taken from Stand 223, 17(3) September - November 2019.

Suzannah V. Evans Poem
Ease

Tread softly

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I am a quick thought in the wood, a quick thought among the many leaves and quivering branches of tr  s. Tr : a woody perennial plant, typically having a single stem or trunk given to considerable height and bearing lateral branches some distance to the ground. I am some distance to the ground as I run, a quick thought in the woods, a flash of blue trainers. The tr  s must see the blue as a quick flash of kingfisher wing, I think, as I run, all limbs and breathing and arms moving and lips shaping air. I am a quick blue shape, a Kandinsky flash, a rhythmic thudding, over in the blink of tr time. I run, and as I run, I take in nettles, a small black bird with a worm in its mouth, the scent of wild garlic, the way the roots curl like a plait, the parked cars that settle into the nettles. The tr  s shiver

their leaves in their own shimmering kind of breathing, a breathing that is open to the sky, and anchored in the roots that lie like ribbons in the dark below the earth. I run, and as I run, as my arms move, as my chest pulses with breath, I glance at the cars, and the tr s see me glance, see the quick flash of my blue trainers, bright as kingfisher wings. They bend their leaves down, let some fall to nettle height, caught in a confetti dance with pollen as they tumble from high to low, from low to lower, from lower to the ground. Alder, Elder, Ash, Rose (Field), Rose (Dog), Rose (Sweet Briar). They are a quiet rustling as I glance, flash-quick, at the parked cars, as I glance, flash-quick, to see if the cars contain people, as I glance, flash-quick, aware of the sharp keys that I keep in my pocket. How quickly could I access the keys if I needed to?

I am a quick thought in the woods, a quick thought among roots, and nettles, and robins, and parked cars. I am a quick thought in the long life of the tr  s who watch as runners run and walkers walk and so on. I am a quick thought among vines that creep and roots that trip and cars that sit and watch. I am a quick thought in the lifetime of the sun, which hovers and dapples and seeks entry into the thick canopy of leaves. I am as light as a leaf compared to the dense packing of earth around me. I am a flash of trainers. I am alert limbs. I am a quick gaze, watching roots, watching cars. I am ankles. I am breath after breath after breath. I am balancing on long limbs as I run, faster than a tr but with similar lines, similar grooves, similar whorls of history. I am a running,

thinking thing, next to tall, ponderous, leafy plants. I run, I glance at cars, I feel my blood pump and hear it in my ears. My blood, in a context of sap and stem, root and ridge. I am an alert, alive thing running through the heartbeat of the wood. I am a person with a particular grain. Alder, Elder, Rose (Field), Rose (Dog), Rose (Sweet Briar). I do not recognise them, I do not know their names, but they see me, kingfisher bright, as I glance at the cars, they see me, as I feel the sharp keys in my pocket. They see me, they see me run, hot and alive, and as I run, these tr  s, they lend me something, they throw them up joyously in the air and let some tumble beneath my feet, as I run, so kingfisher bright

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