The Conifer and the North Wind

woman wears gold colored blue gemstone pendant necklace

Geraldine Clarkson

He gave me a gift of needles
bound round in banana leaves,

fragrant, folded in coconut wood. 
He came to me first in wafts

of October storm, a hard-nosed
North wind who sliced sideways 

at new growth, shook cone-buds,
rocked me till, maddened, 

I smelt my own fragrance flying
high around. I was lithe and high-

waisted, but bent to his buffeting then, 
my limbs braceletted with lichen.

His glance hurt me, ungloved
my bark. The storm passed, returned,

passed and returned when I was
stronger, and I was pleased

to resist him, standing tall. 

Geraldine Clarkson lives and works in the English Midlands. Her poems have been published widely in journals, newspapers, and anthologies, including Furies: A Poetry Anthology of Women Warriors (For Books’ Sake, 2014), The Valley Press Anthology of Prose Poetry (Valley Press, 2019), and Witches, Warriors, Workers: An Anthology of Contemporary Working Women’s Poetry (Culture Matters, 2020). Her latest publication is a chapbook, Crucifox (Verve Poetry Press, 2021). Twitter: @GBClarkson.