Leaves and Trees


Leaves, sprouted from the smallest parts of branches,
give the wind something to blow against.

Given this purchase, it moves the leaf, the twig;
when gusty enough, the branch, the trunk,
yield, move, dance, respond to this force unseen.

Rain washes leaves;
when it’s intent partners with stout wind,
rips them from their home, Spring, Summer, Autumn.

Early snow or ice rests on, coats, and clings to leaves;
burdens twigs, branches, sometimes trunks.

Wind, rain, snow and ice: any of these, when ferocious,
rends leaves, snaps twigs, cracks branches, compromises roots.

It is, however, the leaves
that let the tree feel the breeze,
enjoy a sky-sent shower,
feed itself with the light of the sun.

Why do trees ritually doff these agents of nourishment, perception,
keeping themselves from feeding themselves,
dulling their ability to sense the world around them?

Standing for months, cold and unadorned, seemingly lifeless,
are they more able to feel their roots entwine their neighbor’s?

Can they better plan, when they awake,
to which limbs they’ll send the glow of sun,
which limbs they’ll neglect, let wither, die,
and shed for the sake of their growth?

Regardless of what they feel, or what they decide,
as they stand resting, deep in their own, while ignoring this world,
trees eventually will submit, awaken,
growing one ring stronger, for having done so.

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