Leafing Out

There ought to be a name for the day, in temperate climates, that the trees leaf out. (It would not be the same date each year & it would come earlier the further south one went.) Here in St. Lawrence County, that day was yesterday. The world went from shades of gray & brown to shades of green. The birches are & willows are an intense yellow-green, the maples a kind of dusky green, except for the species that leafs out first bright red, then goes green as chlorophyll  pumps into the leaves. The roadsides have gone from dust & plow gravel to grass overnight. As I say, there ought to be a name for this particular day of each year.

Author: jd

Joseph Duemer is Professor of Literature Emeritus at Clarkson University in northern New York state. His most recent book of poems is Magical Thinking from Ohio State University Press. Since the mid-1990s he has spent a good deal of time in Vietnam, mostly Hanoi. He lives with his wife Carole & five terriers (four Jack Russells & one Patterdale) on the stony bank of the Raquette River in South Colton.

4 thoughts on “Leafing Out”

  1. It just happened here as well – I was just writing in my journal yesterday that it’s as though faeries come and dressed the trees in leaves overnight. You’re right – there should be a name for it.

  2. For William

    As night
    birthed by a stone
    which it floats
    sails your love
    swift with its stars
    day’s disappearance.

    As shore
    I drift from
    hurrying impossibly
    pounding and pounding
    bloom your rescues
    flames in twigs
    anxious to hold
    the invisibly living.

    As one
    gone out
    each morning toward someone
    who won’t return
    enter your leaves
    their green
    their heart-breaking green

  3. Shel, yes. I woke up with allergy eyes this morning, alas.

    Peter, another lovely poem — different in form & tone from your usual contributions.

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