First Maple Leaves

First Maple Leaves

Clustered like a cupped hand’s fingers
they hang from
twig shoots
Sudden as a nest of bird mouths
they begin the month tiny and definite

Like litters of limp kittens
wherever the gaze lights
they seem ready to wander
though they are going nowhere

Each, with three others inverted,
forms a half open umbrella
dangles delicate there
before grown separate and stiff

they spread themselves flat
on invisible perches
receive all the sun they can get
and shelter us

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