Branches hit the windows as the bus slows
to a stop. Cradled like a nesting bird
amongst the leaves, I look from the upper
deck as people board. Each one a story
to be told, a life as long and complex
as my own. Yet the tree must have its say,
even though I do not know its species.
It does not bear conkers, or seeds that spin
like ‘copters, or elfin cups of acorns.
Its trunk a childish scribble, up and down,
with brown crayon. Its canopy green dabs
by Monet, without my glasses. Sunlight
strobes between its waving fingers. Hello,
goodbye. The bus starts up and pulls away
before I can decode the inherent
meaning held by foliage. But most times,
a thing is merely what it is and no
metaphor can make it stand for more. Trees
exist as I do: solid, upright, slow,
full of sap and rooted in London’s dirt.