by AC Clarke, UK
This beech sapling, sprung of its own accord from the parent tree, is old enough to join its mother in the leaf-change which is a sign of slide from summer balm to winter cold – or was, for seasons now are out of joint: spring flowers in January, in November raspberries clinging on. This tree was meant for the old way. Its branches still remember that they must lose their light-transforming green just as the geese which clatter in the meadow remembered they must flee a north which still – for how much longer? – locks their grass in snow. We wish earth well but treat it badly. Will this sapling wither to a might-have-been?