CHARLES TOMLINSON - “The Shadow”
The sun flung out at the foot of the tree
A perfect shadow on snow: we found that we
Were suddenly walking through this replica,
The arteries of this map of winter
Offering a hundred pathways up the hill
Too intricate to follow. We stood still
Among the complications of summit branches
Of a mid-field tree far from all other trees.
Or was it roots were opening through the white
An underworld thoroughfare towards daylight?
There stretched the silence of that dark frontier,
Ignoring the stir of the branches where
A wind was disturbing their quiet and
Rippled the floating shadow without sound
Like a current from beneath, as we strode through
And on into a world of untrodden snow,
The shadow all at once gone out as the sun withdrew.