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Poetry Pleases: Rosebay Willow

The persistent rosebay willow brings colour and life, even to a scrapyard, as John Waddington-Feather's poem reveals.

Small seeds in autumn
steal unseen into the rust,
parachute where no thing grows
and shoot their rootlets into life
to let the warm spring in;
thicken in the moist soil secretly,
locking and interlocking root and stem
among the rust and oil.
In time, they grip the scrapyard by the guts,
bringing it alive,
setting an iron desert alight
waist-high with living red.


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