Saturday, November 21, 2015

What to do with leaves

What to do with leaves, if one cannot leave them
Here beneath aspen, gum, maple and birch
As what they become in winter, a kind of skirt
To warm and feed fanned roots, is gather and

Toss them on a garden. She spreads hers
Over bed and path alike, with straw, with

Dead grass and weeds, barn bedding, the contents
Of kitchen bucket and tumble barrel, along

With any foliage that comes to hand, even prunings
If too small to bother with for her iron stove.
This is for worms and all their small companions
Heaving aside the earth of path and bed alike,

Leveling and loosening, making untilled tilth.
Evening comes and she stills, listening
As the city of humus thrums toward spring.
Very likely it's best to interfere not
Even this much in things, she tells herself, yet
She's always loved to tell her children: eat.

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