These are the giant Manchester poplars that grace and soften the city’s urban horizons.
They were once the lungs of this great industrial town, absorbing the soot and smoke of those dark satanic mills.
Over decades this selfless service turned the fissured and cracked bark a deep shade of black.
They were the arboreal gothic giants of my childhood, animate and brooding over avenue and park.
This particular tree is as familiar to me as any person, indeed it is sylvan family and once marked the outer limits of my explorations.
Beyond this boundary lay dragons and the unknown and my tree acted as an anchor and bower of security.
Meeting again after so many years it welcomes me back into its grace beneath the great spreading canopy.
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Photo courtesy of the author.