Possibly sugar maple—

this whirligig, samara, seed bearing

bundle that sends

DNA from the tree

out in the world to grow again.

Green loaded weight-

bearing on one end, split to show

an escape’s in progress.


Its other end’s a wing, flat

bottom, curved top,

in shades of tan, an edge

chartreuse or lime, depending on the light.


How one flies, descends, like

a fallen leaf, an object beautifully lean.

When today’s walk brings you

out past the tall prairie grass,


and bedstraw, bloodroot—where hardwoods

send a trill of notes liquid

as rain from a singer hidden, you wonder,

can it be warbler, oriole?


You must listen beyond

yourself, become part sylvan, verdant,

breathing, swaying, being.



Photo By: John J.Ingles-Le Nobel


About Author

Patricia Clark is Poet-in-Residence and Professor in the Department of Writing at Grand Valley State University. Author of four volumes of poetry, Patricia’s latest book is Sunday Rising. Her work has been featured on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily, also appearing in The Atlantic, Gettysburg Review, Poetry, Slate, and Stand. She is also the author of a chapbook, Given the Trees, in the Voices from the American Land series. Patricia has had writing residencies at The MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for the Arts, Ragdale, and the Tyrone Guthrie Center in Annaghmakerrig, Ireland.

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