Juneberry Leaves as Gold Coins

by | Sep 22, 2021 | Poetry

October when you notice, when you walk out
and touch its leaves.
Something was broken, then healed, then
transformed.
You can’t stay the same. And yet.
Later came the Japanese maple
called bloodgood.
Mulch surrounded it—a wide necklace of chips.
The year of allium, of the desire for a spring
to end so much that is ruined.
It’s called commerce when you exchange,
when you spend. This for a tree: delivered,
planted, two men with a Bobcat.
This much for four yards of mulch.
The furrows in the bark, or the smoothness,
tell the tale. Shagbark,
white oak, sycamore.
They all lose and come back. There’s no
sign of struggle—except the sycamore.
He said I wish you liked to be held.
They stood under an unyielding sky, no
sign of the space station.
I do, she said.
JUNEBERRY LEAVES AS GOLD COINS by Patricia Clark

 

Photo used under CC

About The Author

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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.