I did not want to declare myself a tree
but I was called up out of the hedgerow
anyway. Two forest spirits dug for me

with their extraction tools. My shadow
jumped in the lightning onto a ploughed field
and, screaming like the mandrake, I came out.

I was made to open my mouth, and held,
splayed, under the storm. Although it hurt,
I spoke leaves. Inside the thunderhead,

invisible surfaces skitter across each other
and lightning, like the crack between green and red
is dark with brightness. For me, there is no cover

though roots and earthworms interlace in nests
and nettles weave and knot below the hedge.