Edgy, always at the edge but can tip a winter
into a pre-spring look of something beautiful.
Bonny in blossom, a beguiling frothy white.
The humble Blackthorn, its knurly built-in rebuke.
Dark thorns, purple, something venomous
like being bitten or strung. Sharp spikes
as long as your thumb. Fangs that can puncture
a finger or sole of a shoe. A Saxon’s barbed wire
marking the boundary in hedgerows where
labour and nature marry among tangled nettles.
Never ignore its dark side, it can plunge us into
danger like a tiny virus can rip through a town.
Or our disastrous human-made climate that throws
us all out of balance. In perfect balance her sloes
whose alien green flesh dry the mouth but with
gin, ah that ruby red liquid makes for a perfect
winter night’s tipple. So I toast the Blackthorn
her dense, strong dark wood, her visceral beauty.