for Tommy and Nessie Mackay
Our memorial tree stands in a grove of six,
leans back on its black rugged base
deep-rooted in the soil, a celebration.
Male and female catkins keep company
as husband and wife, father and mother,
souls intertwined in spring renewal.
Grasses, mosses, wood anemone,
a clump of snowdrops gather beneath its shelter,
draw blue through light-green leaf canopy.
A woodpecker forages for grubs in a branch.
White bark is paper tissue curl, it sheds like tears.
Diamond fissures grow henna dark-deep.
Maggie Mackay is a final year student on the Creative Writing MA at Manchester Metropolitan University. She has work in several print and online publications. To commemorate her parents, Maggie and her brother adopted a silver birch at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh under the Celebrate Life umbrella. A version of The Silver Birch at The Botanics was published in the Autumn 2015 issue of The Linnet’s Wings.