A Poem by Minnie Cunningham: Wild

my grandmother has always been a tree

this year was nothing new

the wind was always her breath

her movement always the rustle of leaves, in green

or grey

in any season she’d sing, with the birds, or sway, with the wind,

by her house

waving goodbye

she was a tree

with coral fingertips and lips for leaves

and when read closely, see, every page of the OED

the tattoos of her body

on bark, an etching

whose veins spread and grew

roots, the tunnels we would travel in

speeding through blurring traffic lights of

orange and green

the colours of a tree on fire

a sunset against the fields

or like a burning bush- it’s not a push

yes she was miraculous

my grandmother has always been a tree

knowing when the year’s no longer new.

we’ve always loved her like this – hoping for a wish-

catching her words as they fall on to earth when they’re crisp.

nature’s true mother

they said she must have been quite a character

but she was real, not fictitious, her vitality vicious,


wild poem

Illustration by Danni Pollock.


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