Indian Summer

It’s the hazy, dusky drunkenness that comes after sex -
a seed-sown, harvest-home contentment
in the woodlands and hedgerows -
the trees at ease with themselves in their pollen-passed
post-coital raptures:
conception achieved for another year,
their branches pregnant.

And listen - you can hear the stretch-marks ripple
through the swollen purple of the plums and wild damsons,
a come-hither calling to birds, and boys with sticks
and girls with lips grown sticky with eating.
Listen - to the pinprick primp and pimple
of the thousand tiny eyelets of the blackberries.
The blushes redden on the apples’ cheeks.
The gloss grows more lustrous on the beads
of sloe and haw and hip.
In their spiky shells the chestnuts harden to mahogany.

And the trees themselves grow languorous, like-to-like,
link arms across their lovers’ lanes,
caress a fading consciousness.
How was it for you? the oak trees ask.
The ashes nuzzle at each others’ necks.
The birch are still a-tremble.
And at their feet the warm earth opens
to receive another generation.