Leaf burst

This time, this time
let us applaud it
in spirit, too,
as we too bud-break
and shed the scales
of a dark time.
The walls teeter
of a protective prison,
the gates thrust open,
and over the land
what dance is this?
Never have I looked
at the light of an elm
as if I too
were of that element,
never have I touched
the midrib of a leaf
and drawn a fine
light affirmation
from that slight shape
with its sawtooth margin,
never before
have I felt so open
in the summer air,
or been so grounded
in the land’s greening.
This time, this time
of leaf burst, let us
look to our freedoms
with a light touch
and careful hand,
with the wit to know
of the modesty
of the give-and-take
at the heart of Nature.

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