That Leaf

Original Text: 
Molly Peacock, Cornucopia: New and Selected Poems 1975-2002 (New York: W. W. Norton, 2002): 122.
1That leaf tries very hard to turn over
2in very little wind. It lifts a corner
3and settles on the ground exhausted, lifts
4itself half over but, as the wind shifts,
6in an attitude of prayer, then gives up.
7Suddenly it turns fully over, sun
8illuminating its dry belly. The sum
9of all attempts is change, yet when change comes
10it's finally so easy the world becomes
11instantly rearranged, present
12from past estranged, the old energy spent
13in almost angry astonishment.
14All the leaf sees is sky, appallingly wide,
15though it always was so -- depleted, terrified
16by sudden perspective, the outside brought inside,
17though it always was so.

Notes

5] hikes up: works itself upwards. Back to Line
Publication Notes: 
Take Heart (1989)
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2004