Lady Silver Birch

By Sherin Shefik

Hi there

My name is

Birch

Silver Birch.

But my friends call me

Lady of the Woods.

You can call me that too

If you want.

Hair colour: silvery white;

Eye colour: light green with a touch of yellow;

Best feature: long, thin, glossy legs;

Vibe: fun-loving.

I’m not looking for permanence

I’m looking to play.

Wherever I am,

Wherever I go,

I won’t be staying long.

I root near the surface

As I’m just preparing the way for

Other more permanent beasts.

I live fast

Love fast

Dye fast.

I whisper

‘This Too Shall Pass’

As my slender stalks dance seductively

In the shimmering moonlight.

My foilage and branches dance to any beat

Even the gentlest of breezes

So I can spread my pioneering seeds far and wide.

I designed my baby winged nutlets

Myself

I wanted them to be light and airy and

To fly great distances

So I can colonise any soil I like.

I do what I want

You see

When I want.

I party hard

To that song I like

With my friend the Fly Agaric

Who – be warned – is naughty

And magic

And wild.

But when the music changes

I finish my sweet fizzy wine

And I pull that dainty silver zip down

Over my fertile womanly hips.

Dropping that

Paper-thin pearl-coloured dress

to the wet soil.

And I’ll slither into something new.

Tonight

I’ll go for

Golden-yellow diamond-shaped sequences

I think

But I’ll wait for the sun to shy.

Tomorrow I’ll shed my skin again

And decorate my delicate twigs

And feminine branches

With a light green Ace of Spades pattern

With pointed teeth tassels

Tinged with pink on the underside.

I’ll dance differently next week

When my old skin starts to peel

When I start afresh and purified once again.

So. Come. Come now.

Hold my hand.

Let’s follow the sound of the drums

For the moon is full

And the night is young…



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