by June Walker
England, U.K.

Bred in a stubborn land,
this hedge of hawthorn grabs frozen soil
with clenched claw roots.
Its trunks — thick, twisted, gnarled hide,
rough as elephant skin.
Its twigs, stubby as shorn corn,
thorns interlock like rutting stags' antlers.
Nature's barb-wire fence, uprooted
by neither wind nor storm.
Its softened face wears small white flowers
in green hair — harbinger of spring lambs,
summer sun.


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