“In the Drowned Woods” By Anna Saunders



In the Drowned Woods

It’s not as if we were together long I tell my heart,
but it isn’t listening. 

In the drowned woods long blades of garlic 
have been crushed by the storm
and wild white flowers float like tiny water lilies.  

A bough drips ivy and clings on to another tree trunk
like a drowning man grasping his rescuer’s arm. 

The pine tree is full of Goldfinches, their high pitched song 
sounds like squabbling. There is a dove, fluttering to a settle. 

A male bird flies down and lands on the back of the female.

There’s a fury of pearl and platinum, 
a flourish of wings like sheets flapping or skirts billowing up.

The coupling is brief, but beautiful,
and in the spring light, the birds resemble angels. 

I have all the symptoms of grief. 
But oh – the memory of two creatures colliding, 
that airborne heat, 
before both creatures flew off into separate skies.


About the Author: Anna Saunders is the author of Communion, (Wild Conversations Press), Struck, (Pindrop Press) Kissing the She Bear, (Wild Conversations Press), Burne Jones and the Fox (Indigo Dreams) and Ghosting for Beginners (Indigo Dreams, Spring 2018). Anna has had poems published in journals and anthologies, which include Ambit, The North, New Walk Magazine, Amaryllis, Iota, Caduceus, Envoi, The Wenlock Anthology, Eyeflash, and The Museum of Light. Anna is the CEO and founder of Cheltenham Poetry Festival. She has been described as ‘a poet who surely can do anything’ by The North and ‘a poet of quite remarkable gifts’ by Bernard O’Donoghue.


Image Credit: Frederick H. Evans “Near Coldharbour” (1893) Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

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