…………………………………………….. will outlive you.
they outlived the Hundred who squabbled settled quarrelled
sheltered by Allerton’s arms
stretched out to create a roof
for those who had none
they tore themselves apart
an emblem of persistence strength affection
their offspring seeds leaves sent to front lines
arms stretched out
rot weather explosion ate them
we predicted their death a millennia after their birth
Allerton the Elder predicts to outlive it (and we hope)
the old soul hunches their back
reaches out for help
we take stretched arms prop them up with scaffolding
a congratulatory handshake
on behalf of the Hundred the soldiers
but what kind of reward is it, to be crowned the best of your kind, and to be placed behind not one set of bars, but two? Allerton the Elder’s protection a prison that cuts nature from nature.
The old soul tips their branch once more
Allerton’s acorn sprouts springs grows a new hope soul
Allerton Oak the Younger will outlive you.
By Isabel Tyldesley