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They’re back again with their grey whiteness, the bright helmets, the giant gnawing hidden teeth, blasting wood. They bend and feed unseen pieces into jaws, wrapped in protective layers, risk assessed and safe while their vile beasts fill their tummies, metal splattering spitting, whirring churning, droning destroying, buzzing burring, cackling into sawdust.  And they work in pairs, in unison and they are soulless relentless merciless, sent from the Council to let in more light but they stalk around looking for the orange spots, the cross on their door, to take out the life. 

And the engine stops, the silence loud, the birds long gone, for now and they prowl around.  An old unsteady man, new to my view, shuffles against the weather, uneven unhelpful right foot, swinging briefly bought bits in his orange plastic, his thick anorak inflating, filling him out against the day as he weaves through their carnage.

And I wait to see what’s next.
Me and the crow look out on them.
A nervous surveillance, his shiny black dulled in December skies, waddling, hands behind his back.
And yesterday I warned our son that his path would be blocked by the visitors and as he changed route at the last moment he complained that they’d taken his favourite tree, one out of sight, on his game on the way, that hung invitingly, to duck under and I wanted to hold him when he walked by the logs that remained.
And this morning they stealth their route along behind us, wreaking change near the playground of earlier times when he clambered carefully and I watched you from the window making something secret on the bench. Where you sat on guard occasionally, half reading half watching, in the closing of the old life when I started to loosen the strings.

And from my side window I see raw sap seeping wood, a shocked pale circle against the dark day, it’s thick hour rich coat greened with life and time, lying torn while their chainsaws sever limbs and I’m drawn to watch though it hurts and I wonder how long before they get to our gate.

I have to go out later, it may help to leave them to it. We checked out their route months back when the orange paint first came and I know the spaces they’re planning and as they drill a little deeper I move away to the front of the house.
And your Mum loved trees so much, tucked away in her little back yard with one plant, you know the one and the jokes we made and she always lifted on the moors in the weather swept openness while the moments ticked into memories and photos. And she visited once here, as her transition picked up pace and I see her in the garden, pink jumper, stick and our son leaning, grinning on his 6 year old truck and the life in the trees hummed around us. Rich chaos filled universes, worlds supporting worlds, layers of matter, mattering to those that paused or lived there and my hours listening through the old windows, orchestras rustling through our noisy atumum days.  And we hesitated on double glazing as it would drown out the calming stirring and they were our trees, my trees, her trees, where trees were backgrounding our place. 

And I feel the atoms spinning in the microscopic legs that crawl their needled stickiness, darting away before nail hard beaks jab into their juicy body, a pop bite burst to nothing, a speck of food or a wriggle of warm jelly into the waiting throats and a clatter of feathers through leaves, in between and up and out, away for the next moment, soaring catching the shape of the wind, carried, spying over the garden with black bead shinyness, the beating muscles connecting, webbing out between us all, making the links in the force. 

I can’t look now. 
The throbbing has started again. A mass displacement, tearing through the morning, a landscape of unseen refugees, bagless homeless  disorientated by imposed change. Bewildered and dazed, some still breathing, edging on in the stark new world.

I’m going out, I can’t listen anymore, can’t feel this familiarity, the anticipation of loss, their Council driven metaphors, the gapping spaces, rich with history, relocating energies around the hacking chainsawed misery.
The Council leaflet tells us it’s been carefully considered, it will aid the trees that are left, they will grow and spread out differently, they will stretch up stronger. Changed through the ripping, but ultimately bringing growth.

I don’t see it at the moment.
I’m aware of dates, obviously they would have to come now, of course.
I’m aware of the sun shining out, winter cold but energising, webs of sawdust dancing in it’s light.
Wood warming up in the photons.

I’m going to have one more look.

I’m tired of endings.
X

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