“Leaf on the Ground” by Bob Rich
I happily thought of her again,
how she could scoop up, in mid-air, the burning blue grief of my tears
with her nimble golden chalice.
I hadn’t seen that same healing color of gold for years
until I looked down at the sidewalk and saw you there, leaf,
resting under a tree.
Leaf, your colors proudly announce an autumnal burnish
like a polished antique tea kettle.
Leaf, your delicate branching veins are like a sudden spill of neon light,
fanning out like geometric melodies over your supernatural symmetry,
like the bold colored ribbons that gently fell over her softly-spun hair.
Leaf, like a kettle, you pour your ancient song into the air with:
harmonies from the simultaneous brightness of your copper, red, and orange;
and the minor-chord chill from when you tumbled to the ground through winter air;
and the warm major-chord chimes in the passion of your photosynthesis
as your chloroplasts capture sunlight and, with fierce alchemy,
turn carbon dioxide to sugar ~~
like how music captures the raw elements of life and
turns the bitter red and purple of sorrow to the sweetly sounding bells of insight,
like how she listened to the dissonant lyrics of my life, the cluttered, clashing tones
and made a song.