24 September – The tiptoe tree

Down where the river swells wide
and greedily licks the bank
in premonition and echo of flood,
a brave alder stands resolute tall.
A persistent survivor
of constant colonising land grabs,
it clings to its diminishing earth,
rising on tiptoe to straddle the fleeing ground
and remain balanced,
poised and elegant above the fray.
I think of a ballerina’s strength
ascending en pointe,
and applaud the beautiful struggle
of the alder’s stoic dance.