Remembering nine lives

25 Jan 2021 | Poetry

A cat has nine lives,
the number of saplings
we planted in the garden
some four years ago.

The saplings each honour
each of our grandchildren
but there is one tree more
special than the others.

It is dressed in brown leaves
protected by the bare
winter arms of the oak tree
which stands in front of it.

With such an embrace,
the beech sapling is growing
even more serene and confident
than many of its cousins.

Why is this sapling so special?
It is in memory of Thomas
who died after childbirth in 2016,
his twin Jack surviving him.

Nine lives. Nine grandchildren.
Jack’s sapling smiles from afar,
his living alto ego in London
seizing his opportunity with joy.

Written 2021