Reading Leaves

A young boy is plucked
from history like an arrow
from a quiver. A young girl
curls asleep beneath
a perfumed quilt, awakes
a woman, cold and naked
in some beast’s black den.
An anxious cloud
reaches deep into a man
and touches him blind.

Moments before, each bathed
in the false clarity
of light. A single leaf waved
its warning. But which one?

This narrow road, too, flanked
by the forest’s wide chaos,
curves somewhere
into such a dark miracle.

Beyond the next bend, or the next:
Your mission is to know.
Beside you, love
tugs at your coat sleeve, a child
pleading for some toy
you can’t possibly afford.

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