Leaf Boats

By | 3 February 2024

Before the typhoon
a pond fringed with

ragged men napping on benches,
and branches undone

from leaves she was plucking.
I urged her:

gather only those lying about.
Curl the stems

to make the masts.
See, now they’re budging.

We were running behind.
The cavern filled with

a sigh foreseen: Strong wind
caused by trains.

Onto our platform stepped
her classmate clutching

a brown recorder case.
Accompanying himself

nobody was about
to hurry him.

Her audition room doors
swung to a close.

The soft drinks dispenser
offered me ice.

The crossword asked for
a row of vowels.

So many Os, so
many openings.

In Omoo
by Melville

Mori, the teacher said.
It meant forest.

A family name planted
at the start of her greeting.

She made strokes on
white paper—a clearing

so the child could see them
for the trees.

How are they different?
They have dedicated years.

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