Jane Clarke poem is as quietly crafted as a product of the wood-carving trade she is abandoning. The poem comes from her collection, The River (Bloodaxe Books, £9.95), which won her the Listowel Writers’ Week Prize in 2014.

EVERY TREE

I didn’t take the walnut oil,

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linseed oil,

~

the tins of wax

or my lathe and plane

~

when I closed

the workshop door.

~

I left the grip of poverty

on the bench

~

beside my mallet,

whittling knife

~

and fishtail chisel

with its shallow sweep.

~

I quit the craft

my father had carved into me

~

when I was pliable

as fiddleback grain,

~

left all at the threshold,

except for the scent of wood,

~

a different scent

for every tree.