The Leaf that Stayed
Spring comes dotted, stalling
Spring sputters, sprayed in both
Colors indistinct with a certain blindness.
The last gasp of a younger perspective,
The sugar kept all winter in the broken, now budded, branch.
In winter, north wind slid over coated ice.
The branch cracked and flexed sprawled, crooked twig fingers
Together strong, balanced straight, up reaching
Down into the ground stable, ignorant of difference
Between its roots and branches.
Disconnected, it mistakes the stability of one
For the other,
A season’s true self delayed
In a color caught between.
I waited, wanted to see those red buds flower,
But, the snap of machinery cut down the brownness.
Buds and branches
Returned to the field,
Spliced and piled. Ordered. Clean.
That’s what steel does, cuts down brown
Red isn’t green, at least not
The painted over kind.
The leaf that stayed,
The leaf that stayed
Stayed brown, stayed to watch.
A dry hand
A summered leaf more brown than soil
That bathed in sunlight breath less yellow,
Bleached in another’s toxicity.
Which is sure of which need to fill?
Plows and dog nails dig.
We can’t beat hunger when we don’t acknowledge
Which hunger we look to feed.
The seasons of nature are no longer reliable,
So too, human nature wanting.
Even the leaf that stayed,
I didn’t notice when
A stem let go.
Preferred to fall away from a field’s false promises.
It must float, so many final turns,
My feet crunch through
Into the ditch turned grave for yet another body,
Still, I think the bodies remain still.
Too still, but not still enough.
Which of us is confused?
Shovels and decisions dig