Allerton Oak the Elder

…………………………………………….. will outlive you.


they outlived the Hundred who squabbled settled quarrelled

sheltered by Allerton’s arms

stretched out to create a roof

a courthouse

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

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