Something invisible, terrifying, beyond our walls,
just outside the door, scratches at the window, waiting.
We fear it has come to destroy us and perhaps it has,
those spiky red Christmas balls spreading across screens.
The tree offered the poet a key.
Expecting to find a door,
she circled the ancient oak elder
a number of times before
she spotted an open window,
high above the robin’s nest.
At the still point of this turning world
Stood before the great mystery
the poet calls life,
she senses something approaching,
which, as it draws nearer
the poet realises, is the plague.
Thrown into turmoil,
she tries hard to cut and run,
but the plague seizes her.
It was the night before Persephone
was set to return to Hades,
when a terrible storm descended
as she and her mother,
two goddesses in the greenwood,
noticed a gathering of houses
through autumn’s falling leaves.
Places in which they hoped
to seek warmth, food and shelter
for their last night together.