Sunday, September 2, 2012

This Leaf

This leaf is an atlas of small worlds that travel silently.
This leaf is a tabula rasa, a scrim of thinning blankness waiting for change.
This leaf is the empty swimming pool after Labor Day, a shape turned deeper by emptiness.
This leaf is the tilt of the bird-feeder’s wooden roof clambered on by squirrels, spinning from a cord of fraying rope.
This leaf is a patchwork quilt, or the lining of one, found at a thrift store and waiting for its cotton body.
This leaf is an acoustic guitar secretly yearning for the buzz of electricity.
This leaf is the pond that is filling back up with water after months of crackling drought.
This leaf is a plastic tugboat the color of a jack o’lantern, waiting to be mysteriously sunken in a small moat.
This leaf is a cloud fallen to earth, limning what it touches with the disappearance of winter.
This leaf is a mirror, cupping the shifts of seasons above it and showing them off to the sky.
This leaf is a skillet, sizzling with flour and waiting for the little green dice of homegrown okra to give it purpose and flavors.
This leaf is the lens you lost from your glasses last year when you were climbing up a rocky bank to take a picture of a tree.
This leaf is a band-aid, the last one left in your upper left hand desk drawer, handed to a child whose elbow wants to wear the face of Batman.
This leaf is a sandalwood mala, sagging over the splinters of a wooden bench beside a pond you used to visit, its crimson tassel fading into rose in rain.
This leaf is the chamois shirt your old lover gave you, left beside the trail tree in the forest, its buttery warmth befriending other leaves now.
This leaf is the chalice that you found in the basement, one of a pair, tarnished but waiting to hold something wet.
This leaf is the puddle you stepped in in sockfeet, the touch of cold that woke you up.
This leaf is a shard of pottery tucked against the base of a big old oak tree in what used to be a garden.
This leaf is an anchor, but not one that works real well.
This leaf is the kayak you fell out of on the Coosawattee River near some rocks and roaring water.
This leaf is a crimson prayer flag ripped down by wind from the branch of a poplar in your yard.
This leaf is a page from a book in another language.
This leaf is the raft of logs and twine you dream of floating away on when you’re restless.
This leaf is a riverstone, cool to touch and carried in the pocket of your peacoat in December.
This leaf is a circle of abalone smoking with sage.
This leaf is a lost wooden chesspawn  lonesome for bishops and knights.
This leaf is the story of threshold you love like the poem you memorized in April, the one that sang like an angel might, the one you wrote down in four different places so you could read it whenever you wanted. It knows how to keep you up late at night and tell you things you need to hear.
This leaf is the note in the bottle, the koan you floated away on a rising Sapelo Island tide.
This leaf resists being part of constructed art and does not enjoy the way tape feels between it and thick journal paper.
This leaf is the magnifying glass you carry around to see even smaller.
This leaf is the top of a fencepost, once a circle but splayed into broadness by seasons.
This leaf is a crumbling cabin of tannin, its roofbeams collapsing in on the space inside it.
This leaf is the adventure of touch, the challenge of handclasp and holding.
This leaf is a page from the book I write every day, the one where every word carries more than most people would be able to see, the one with the color of slow smoke and pondwater at its heart, the one synonymous with the best prayer I’ve offered, the one that holds my fingers captive and shows them what to do when they don’t know. No one will ever read it, but its chapters love the world I give it relentlessly and without fear, certain of the rightness of moments and the syllables of speech, determined to keep on talking even when its writer’s voice is soft with another poem’s hidden longing.

©Laura Sorrells 2012
all rights reserved


  1. There are so many stories here... This leaf could be my torso with it's impaled heart

  2. yeah, I suppose it could be mine too. yes, lots of stories.


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About Me

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Georgia, United States
I live at the edge of the forest in a little town in the north Georgia mountains. I teach sixth grade Language Arts and am writing a memoir of sorts about family, spirituality, and narrative. I am also exploring a possible writing project having to do with contemporary lay contemplative experience and how it might be informed by the Desert Fathers and Mothers of early Christianity. I am a relatively recent convert to Roman Catholicism and an admirer of Pope Francis, Leonardo Boff, Joan Chittister, and Richard Rohr. I'm a Lay Associate of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery in Conyers, Georgia. I am interested in indigenous cultures, narratives, and spirituality, especially how these can inform my spirituality as a lay contemplative. I write, read, take pictures, play around with creating ephemera from paper and cloth and other organic things. I cook, hike, watch wildlife, and collect random bits of interesting oddness, both tangible and abstract. I am a seer of smallness and a caretaker of ridiculous minutiae. If you want, e-mail me at or