Lady of the Woods,
you move on the gentlest of winds.
Children have blossomed under your branches,
skimmed your white trunk, up to the witch’s knots.
Every night for sixty years
your silvery bark has glimmered in the moonlight,
fairies have bathed in its reflection.
Your rods have beaten out the playground’s boundary.
You have sugared the tongues of lovers,
charmed the cots of babies
and cast away their weakness.
You have warded off evil;
been womanly and constant.
On behalf of those who are about to take you down,
I’m asking you to purify yourself with tears;
you’re dying back, make way for the new.
I’m asking you out of respect
so that anger won’t rise in your whipping-twigs.
You will be taken whole, nothing will be left;
no hollow silver tubes,
no writing parchment
on which to scribe these last few words
in your honour.