Thursday, June 16, 2016

Thursday Poem - Aunt Leaf

Needing one, I invented her—
the great-great-aunt dark as hickory
called Shining-Leaf, or Drifting-Cloud
or The-Beauty-of-the-Night.

Dear aunt, I'd call into the leaves,
and she'd rise up, like an old log in a pool,
and whisper in a language only the two of us knew
the word that meant follow,

and we'd travel
cheerful as birds
out of the dusty town and into the trees
where she would change us both into something quicker—
two foxes with black feet,
two snakes green as ribbons,
two shimmering fish—and all day we'd travel.

At day's end she'd leave me back at my own door
with the rest of my family,
who were kind, but solid as wood
and rarely wandered. While she,
old twist of feathers and birch bark,
would walk in circles wide as rain and then
float back

scattering the rags of twilight
on fluttering moth wings;

or she'd slouch from the barn like a gray opossum;

or she'd hang in the milky moonlight
burning like a medallion,

this bone dream, this friend I had to have,
this old woman made out of leaves.

Mary Oliver
(from Twelve Moons, 1978)


Mystic Meandering said...

How Magical ! We all need friends like these :) Have you read A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle?

kerrdelune said...

Yes indeed, one of my favorite books but I love all her stuff.

Mystic Meandering said...

Oh, I didn't know she had written other "stuff" :) Will have to look into that...