‘Look At a Dry Leaf’
October 16, 2015 by PaulM Posted in Culture, Poetry Leave a Comment
Web image courtesy of Wikimedia
I reached into the vault for a poem from this “time of the season.” —PM
Look At a Dry Leaf
A dry leaf is a physical map:
River beds are sap routes
Forking off the prime vein.
The underside’s not printed,
But the face is a bright terrain
Or scaly parchment
Resembling earth cracked by drought.
In one quadrant of this chart
Locate red hills,
Check another for tracks of golden birch
Following tributaries south.
Like old maps, leaves curl and flake.
Oak is smooth brown leather;
Wine skin of a maple buckles.
A year-old leaf pressed flat
Is a brittle dollar.
These small flags tell me,
“Autumn, North, Good.”
—Paul Marion (c) 1984, from Strong Place: Poems ’74–’84