Bill Greenwell: Leaf Waiting
(With apologies to TH)
I sit at the top of the tree, my blade stiff.
Unfurled, no crooked glands
Between my perfect petiole and pert teeth:
In sunlight I rip out the heat’s heart.
My susurration in these wild woods!
The seasons turn at my will, and the air
Whistles in pure obedience –
I become russet, because it suits me.
This branch is attached to me,
Waits on my bidding, my absorption.
There is no chicanery in my veins:
My etiquette is all cellulose,
The conversion of air.
For the one way to trust a branch
Is by praising the leaf’s instinct.
No philosophy explains me:
I am not going to drop off.
The tree depends on me, surely.
My stem only imagines a swivel.
I shall never get trampled.