Gifts – a poem by Jane Angué

Gifts
 
A book of leaves 
                            from ’63 filled with blades of fescue,
sedge and brome, its tired cover soft green two days mown.
 
Now faded fields 
                             wave back, thigh-high banks of fronds;
a fountain of stripped seeds spray from an opened hand.
 
How in tune. 
                      Leaves had not blown in to colour shreds of talk
or clutter listening to thoughts we folded shut 
in concrete shade standing enclosed against metal heat.
 
but rustled 
                  in a letter to one far enough away to tell, near
enough to understand and peel this palimpsest’s thin skin.
 
She has written 
                          leaves in rain that unfurled like buds
in the ears of keen young city kids.
A tawny mother, sage unbound, wrapping forest-born boys
 
in copper petals 
                          by the creek; rocking words among the herbs,
her lullabies hummed across an ocean, borne on a sunlit page.
                                                              
In return, 
                a song of ourselves, growing out of this stony track,
muted among the thyme and flax, a torn leaf underfoot
 
with a pencilled wish. Beyond 
                                                  the enduring sting of scythes, 
stretch leas of gifted leaves imprinted with scents of hay.

Jane Angué teaches English Language and Literature in France. She contributes in French and English to print and online journals such asLe Capital des MotsAmethyst, Ink, Sweat and TearsAcumen, Erbacce, Poésie/première, Traversées, Mille-feuille. A pamphlet, des fleurs pour Bach, was published in 2019 (Editions Encres Vives).

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