Winter Thorn

Before the bend he remembers
what he usually sees at the bend

even in mist-less and anemic days
the thorn’s bespoke glow, a hazed

corona of frozen smoke
its branchlets weave and hold

working the air with web,
a murk his rallentando steps

of approaching scrutiny will lift
and encase the salted grey twigs

with emptiness, and he’ll doubt his eyes
like he doubts torches, sapphire

paint spattered upon the branches
when autumn is prismed in tangles

and doubts springtime’s whelm
belt-burst snowdrifts of blossom.

But today the twigs slump down
towards the soil, down from the cloud.

Perhaps up close they’re black as licorice
where last night’s rain slicked off the mist.

But today from the bend he sees
hedgerow, the woodland invisibility.



As well as IS&T, Paul Connolly’s poems have appeared in Agenda, Warwick Review, Poetry Salzburg, The Reader, Scintilla, Dawntreader, Takahē, FourXFour, Sarasvati, Obsessed with Pipework, Eunoia Review, and The Cannon’s Mouth, and will soon appear in Stand and Chiron Review.