Gnats on the Willow Tree was created as the stress and isolation of the global lockdown seemed to strip my relationships of their facades, exposing raw, bleeding cores. Some grew stronger, while others rotted in the sun. I credit the title to the Molly Drake song I Remember, which processes love lost with situational metaphors;

We tramped the open moorland in the rainy April weather
And came upon the little inn that we had found together
The landlord gave us toast and tea and stopped to share a joke
And I remember firelight
I remember firelight
I remember firelight
And you remember smoke

We ran about the meadow grass with all the harebells bending
And shaking in the summer wind a summer never-ending
We wandered to the little stream among the river flats
And I remember willow trees
I remember willow trees
I remember willow trees
And you remember gnats

We strolled the Spanish marketplace at 90 in the shade
With all the fruit and vegetables so temptingly arrayed
And we can share a memory as every lover must
And I remember oranges
I remember oranges
I remember oranges
And you remember dust

The autumn leaves are tumbling down and winter's almost here
But through the spring and summertime we laughed away the year
And now we can be grateful for the gift of memory
For I remember having fun
Two happy hearts that beat as one
When I had thought that we were ‘we’
But we were ‘you and me.’

Excerpts from this work were published in Yale School of Art’s Asterisk Journal: