Under the Tree

A soldier rode up on his tumbling black horse

to the woman under the Tree,

“What are you waiting for ?”, he said

“For Death”, answered she.


He asked “May I wait by your side?”

“Sit down” she beckoned him there,

and he sat beneath the shadowy branches

As she began plaiting her hair.


He watched as her fingers parted her tresses-

turning this way and that ,

and she gathered some flowers, grasses and clover

and knotted them in with her plaits.


” What are you doing?” asked the soldier,

Desire creeping into his heart

” I am gathering my possessions around me

before my funeral may start.”


And he saw how lovely she was

There in the shade of the Tree

“Surely you are born of this meadow

and lie waiting in it for me…”


He took off his armour and he took up his sword

as he brushed the hair from her face,

and he entered it into her body

with beautiful sly, gentle grace.


She clung to him whispering softly

so that only the Tree could hear