Mary Belardi Erickson

In Issue 3 on May 1, 2009 at 11:15 am

As a Leaf

left at last by that wanting tree
to fall, is what you view

could be what you become
as the ground, anywhere, takes hold of you

for its own flowing moments:
like floating onto your back

held buoyantly by water’s body
looking up far to swimming clouds

feeling who you really are
in the stillness a dreaming shape

having been mesmerized by blues,
grateful for being free from gnashing
waves of wind and pelting sprays.

This is where you come to in the falling
away, like the leaf from its season—

drifting down, until a gust may lift it,
and the tree’s other leaves, like you waiting

to be transformed in a remarkable rush
toward a spot inviting settlement

somewhere else, into being there—
more important than flight’s feel
or your look—

stilled motion floating peacefully
attentive to your center
as on a watered ground.

At first veined shapes
and then still here humbly formless

having reached time’s outlet
into unnamed ceaseless currents
of knowing.

So finding a leaf falling or about to fall,
and making yourself suited for water:

touching ground means finding
waters, yourself flowing from time
to time.

*2nd Prize Winner of the 2009 Numinous Magazine Poetry Prize

Mary Belardi Ericksonn majored in English and minored in Religion at Augsburg College, Minneapolis. She further studied literature and writing at both Drake and Purdue Universities. She has taught, and now helps people with their health care and volunteers as a musician, playing clarinet. She reads and enjoys others’ poems, and writes. Forthcoming is publication in Avocet: A Journal of Nature Poems this Summer, 2009.

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