Who Is The Leaf?

Leaves drawn of their vigour

Yellow in the chill light

And flutter down

With each stroke of the breeze.

Dying is a beautiful thing

When life’s sap is safe,

Eternal

In the trunk and the root,

Withdrawn from the world

Like an in-breath

Or tide, or season’s

Planetary oscillation.

Who grieves the leaf

Its turning or its loosening

On the branch,

Or its earthward mulch

Settling into new form?

No one grieves,

For the life in the leaf

Is not gone

But hides behind bark,

Gathers against the darkness

Of the shrinking wintery days,

And awaits the pull of the sun

And the soil’s warming

And the osmotic urge

To express itself again,

And again, and yet again.

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