Letting Go Of The Leaves
Last year’s growth,
and remnants of the year’s before,
has scattered a plush rug
underneath the budding maples,
as though preparing a wide cushion
for the first winged seeds of May,
then autumn’s sloughing off.
Up there, though, everything is birth;
branch tips have advanced
a quarter of an inch,
and every leaf is a neonate.
This is birth, but not rebirth,
these look nothing like the shriveled leaves
which lie shrunken on the forest floor,
victims of the diaspora of autumn.
These buds, no green Lazaruses,
but fugitive prophets,
will abide their season,
fufill their reason,
hide and house the birds,
then move on, forced migrants,
toward the rich, dark, promised land below.
The performance over,
they will not be back for an encore.
First they leaf, then they leave.
Even the rising sap of the tree
ascends like the phoenix from
The sap, transparent blood of life,
ressembles the circuitous flow of a table fountain
that recyles the water like a prayer wheel’s
Young cells have
mingled with the old
and spring erupts again,
and will again.