A Leaf Stiffens, by Llewellyn McKernan

A leaf stiffens,

then it bends, and

then it clings to the post of a fence.

Next it floats

on the surface of a creek,

splitting fine hairs in a fit of pique.

Now it springs

from the trap of the wind, lithe,

and lovely, liquid with fins,

until it quarrels with the sap

in its veins (Both argue

pretty much the same).

So it turns red-gold, brown

and purple,

modeling itself on an old wood turtle.

It digs in with claws,

and makes its own turf. It

slowly builds a little egg of earth

where it buries itself to

grow new life, vanishing like the others

in the well of my eye.

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