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It is Winter.
The trees are bare,
Under them lie tones of primary colours.
Blue contrasts green.
Once more, within days of lockdown, the weather improves.

The skies have white clouds.
They’ve replaced the dark brooding ones i looked out the windows of study at.
I salute them,
I wont see you very often in the coming months
You are beautiful.

Trees, you will litter the ground with colours I only know this time of year.

Our year is a bare tree.
It seems stunted in growth,
No beauty in leaves.
We think it dead.

This one tree I see is bare.
It seems isolated to the browns and oranges surrounding it.
Yet it stands tall,
The tallest in fact
My eye is caught by gold reflected in the leaves.

The fields look healthy and green.
But not for much longer.
They will pale with frost
And discolour in dew.

In these months
I see houses I never knew existed.
You have hidden them from me
In the presence of Persephone
And shaded them in happiness.
Now, in Winter, in November, in grief
You no longer protect them.

You leave them no beauty to gaze upon.
You leave them bare.

Our year is a bare tree and
We think it dead.

About the Author
Emma Muldoon Ryan is an 18 year old Leaving Cert student who wishes to study at NUIG in September. Emma started writing two years ago as apart of a Transition Year Creative Writing module. That year she was also extremely excited to perform at Galway’s Cúirt festival in April. Since, she has performed once more and been published numerous occasions nationally and internationally for her poetry.
Editor's Note
There’s a lovely calm, reflective tone in this piece, and I think that the poet creates an atmosphere of stillness and quietness wherein we can all look around us at the strangeness of our current world. Her use of colours is deliberate and vivid and her engagement with the seasons and the passing of time reminds me of our many great nature poets, like Grace Wills. Her unselfconscious dialogue with the clouds is surprisingly moving – such an honest, unmediated look into the mind of another human, their simple yet profound concerns. This is what poetry is all about.