You draw the runes and enter my world,
will you destroy it or set me free?
You read the stones and recite its oath,
we are all whom we pretend to be

I spotted you near my poison tree,
merely searching for forbidden fruit
I witnessed you shake its heavy limbs,
assaulting its hidden whitethorn root

Its frail leaves were wraiths of withered hate,
Its branches contorted in violence
Its trunk knew nought of beauty and bliss,
only to hide behind tears of silence

You seemed to be from another realm,
your actions savage and full of blame
Its defence of poison was useless,
against a heart filled with lust and shame

You swiftly climbed its slippery bark,
worn thin and feeble from brutal pain
You stripped its boughs of buds and blossoms,
slain by hostile winds and tainted rain

You reached out to grasp its sacred fruit,
Its voice was timid and low and weak
A trickle of blood seeped from its mouth,
disturbingly scarlet against its pale cheek.

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Written in 2018. ‘The Poison Tree’ won two awards; The Mayoral Creative Writing Prize 15–17 Years Poetry and 2nd Place for the SDEHS Magazine Writing Competition.

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