It's just poetry, it won't bite


01.31.14 Posted in today's words by

Jeff Burt’s most recent poem to appear here was Socks (November 2013).

By Jeff Burt

In the library of leaves withered and compiled
by wind and rake these short biographies
of tree-limned lives give color as much as photosynthesis.

In the red-bound cellulose I hear the dramatic operas
of blue jays, those berating thugs and gangbangers,
in the yellow and gold the sweet and sustained

ethical lives of robins, in the yet vibrant greens
of the youthful mayflies and Zayante beetles
who had but one day to mate and fly,

in the brown the lives exhausted, spent
butterflies and hummingbirds. And yet the one leaf
I hold, feeble, skeletal, the body stripped and only veins

that reached to sunlight visible from the stem,
I hold for those who vanished before their time had come,
histories robbed by memory’s loss, logic, and sense

and the name of a spouse depleted from their thoughts.
This is the leaf I will press in the pages of my journal
to remember those who no longer can.


2 Responses to “Pressing”

  1. Patti F says:

    Powerful, beautiful, haunting in a way. I didn’t realize I was holding my breath as I read this poem until I exhaled with a rush after reading the last line. I loved it.

  2. Jeanette Gallagher says:

    I am touched by this beautiful, poignant poem. It makes me think of the beauty of nature and the sadness of time for those who can’t remember. Lovely!

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