The song you heard singing in the leaf when you
were a child
is singing still.

— Mary Oliver from “What Can I Say?”

If you bend near or stretch tall,
put your ear close to the baby bud
busily working to evolve—
perhaps one day unspooling into
a graceful fern or a whopper of a
sycamore leaf the size of your hand—

if you’re very quiet, so that all
you hear is a whoosh of wind and
the call of a bird whose name you’d
like to know,

you might catch the song of foliage
greening, of the stalk stretching
as you do, growing taller every
moment, even when you can’t
see it.

You might detect a tiny tune
in the life that’s aborning.
Let the leaf teach you the melody
embedded in its cells, placed
there by ancestors it has
never known, but has inherited
everything it needs to grow
and flourish in this season
of thriving.

Tuck that tune under your arm,
and return often, if you can, to
linger with the song of springtide.
Be sure to hum or warble or whistle,
adding your own harmony to
the leafy serenade,

as well as your big smile,
your whole-hearted applause.

Photo / Dick Schmidt

About janishaag

Writer, writing coach, editor
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2 Responses to Leafsong

  1. Carol Savoie says:

    love it….i was that child in the woods! happy easter

  2. janishaag says:

    Thanks so much, Carol! Happy Easter to you, too!

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