What is it in those thin shapes? And so
slim-dark against the cliffs
they come up like a sharp green fire,
an elven cunning to their wild tops.
What is it that strikes the spirit
as we contemplate that wood? Is it
that no light has snuck through? Or is it
the weirdness of its bent height? The fact
it grows above the rock, pillar-like, compelling
us to forge a path?
We’re hooked to their dark authority,
their stern, impartial beauty. These are our judges
before the bone silence, the no return.
Nell Prince studied English at St Andrews, was runner-up in Girton College's 2016 Jane Martin Prize, and has had work published by Sidekick Books, Measure, The Moth, The Road Not Taken, and Acumen. She lives in Lincolnshire.
The Ekphrastic Review
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