Skeleton Trees

Campbell MacKinnon



A fools hope

Was all I had, until you left your weight
Upon my shoulders.

My shirt was damp with tears. Your frame
Was thin, too thin as you began to sob.
You were improving, getting better.

I had convinced myself the wounds you
bore had begun to heal, that gentle
poultice my hands had spread upon you
was showing seeds of improvement, but

No, the infection spread further, preying
upon the mind I had vowed to guard, it
was left unattended. So you struggled
without me – my back was turned, and
ears were shut to all but me.

Winter is almost upon us, the blueish hues
of summer skies have faded to a
melancholy grey and the trees once rich
with life have begun to shed their leaves.

The bark feels cold and empty now, sap
clots as a great monolith begins its
hibernation, descending further to sleep;

I worry they will never wake for summer
and I will be left with the echoes of hope

and skeletons of my failures