A Plant, a Leaf, a Leaf of a Plant and I

by Madhu Kailas


It has come to this
what started with knowing and naming things.
Charting streets and plotting victories,
maps of youthful energies in urgent print.

I speak to a plant on the window sill,
attention and kindness extend my will.
A new friend arrives with downy grace,
I lean into motion of wings that have come to rest.
Space remembers long after it is shuffled,
and we forget.

A green leaf, out of focus, is bloated inside my eyes.
It melts at the edges and flows outward,
a leaf grows into my whole world,
the rest falls apart, stands aside.
In peace, in place—
a plant, a leaf, a leaf of a plant and I.

We keep company watched by a wooden frame,
we become a picture, hemmed in an instant.
We are an instant in a window, in middle of passage.
Life is an instant we hold tenuously together.

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