I like to think
if I sat in the shade
of a green leaf maple
watching its shadow
move from west to east
while the wind tossed the wild oats
in rippling banners across yellow hills
and the clouds flew through the air
like white galleons surging towards the Philippines
and I remained so still
that the chickadees clicking in the branches
cocked their black caps at me
as if I were the top of an old oak stump
stuffed with acorns—

and if I sat here
watching the lion and the ladle
twirl across the night sky
season after season,
and someone brought me
bacon and eggs for supper,
covered my shoulders with a blanket
from November to April
and kissed me good night, each night—
the grace of the world would enter me.
Though I’d be
no great green tree
from whose branches white birds sing hosannas,
but an ancient horse
all hide and bone
alone in a dusty pasture
feet splayed
bowing to the earth.

“Sitting Under a Green Leaf Maple” appeared in the 2009 edition of the Labletter.

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