May Day

On the arrival of Spring and what traditions remain.

Image Credit: 
Public Domain

Tall he stands
wrapped in a green chrysalis
the man of leaves.

Old Jack.

Bound by a ring of roses
ivy limbs
feet of oak
hair of sycamore
dandelion eyes and grass teeth
his chlorophyll skin sprouting
pale green buds that climb
and grow.

He becomes
from what was to what will be
a changeling
swathed in ribbons that twirl
and circle him
around the great stake
held by ghosts.

The long gone slap of wooden beats
tapping feet
the echo of belled ankles chiming
step one two three
a pocketful of posies
sound again.

Spring is here.

He tells her he loves her
but she has seen what he has done
what we have become
so his sentence is passed in silence
without us
no jury
yet he still remembers our company
when we were free
and could dance through fields.

Now he stands alone
choked by ribbons
a rainbow spiral coiling his neck
chained in daisy lines.

Spring says she loves him
and she always will
as he burns down at the maypole.

Seb Reilly is a writer, fiction author and occasional musician. He lives by the sea in Thanet, Kent, with his family and two cats.

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