by Aidan Chivers
A willow emerges from his watery roots,
Holds his rippling partner in a tight embrace –
She dangles, trusting, floating on her icy bed:
He stands, and holds, and feels, and breathes.
Across the water, in the moonlit air,
Two statues, breathless, face each other and gaze,
Formed by the hand of a shapeless craftsman
Who has fashioned them there in time and space.
Air glides soft over their ancient bodies,
And their mirrored features, stuck in time:
Frozen lips, carved together on marble faces –
Eyes gleam bright from the smoothed-out stone.
Yet warm breath reaches out, touches and strokes –
And a rosy glow returns to skin:
Blood rushes, cheeks soften, lips yield, eyes blink,
A two-fold Pygmalion and a return of selves.
There’s tree, and tree, and face, and face,
Thrown together in a setting which they did not choose.
In washed-out surroundings, drained of colour and sound
Two figures gleam and dance in their milky dust.