Thursday, October 25, 2007

Taming the Leaves


They're doing it again:
Taming the leaves.
Trying with rakes
and leaf blowers
to tidy nature.

But I prefer the mess.
In autumn's dry day
they have their glory.
Perfect papery shapes;
everywhere, flashes and sparks.

My leaf crusade is strong this autumn,
perfection beckoning,
color catching my eye.
I think of writing letters
on their smooth brown skin.
I think of giving them as gifts,
("Here, have this leaf,
and don't forget to smell it.")

I'm running but a leaf makes me stop
because it looks like leather.
And upon sniffing,
it's the smell of earth and maple and life-
Do the tamers stop to sniff?

I preserve them under heavy books
to be flattened and to dry,
forgetting
that in the taking...
I'm taming them myself.

Still...
it's an afterlife
better than grey mush,
depressed and clogging the drains.
I'm not loud
like a leaf blower,
and I'm not killing them
like milk murders wheaties.

Selected carefully,
compulsively,
they travel home;
innocent,
crisp,
bright colors like fine art
in my hands.

Their destiny? Simple.
Inspiration
on a colorless winter day.

-Me, 2000
(ending modified 2007)

1 comment:

Meagan Elliot said...

Oooooh, I love your poem, Cornelia Sweetie!!! It's so good in so many ways.