The leaf

A ragged spot on my kitchen floor - Like a tracked-in leaf with a yellow turn And I stooped to pick it and to deplore That my tracking husband would never learn; But patient - fingers and one quick thumb To pick, but - nothing - it would not come Up from my carpet - silk rebuff - Then I knew I picked at immortal stuff, A scrap of sunlight as sunlight lies, Leaf of sunlight as sunlight flies. Immaterial and material . . . . There on my carpet Leaf ethereal . . . . Yet very substance: the photons stream Over my carpet; bullets scream; And ultra-violet and blue octaves Rising upward on golden staves - Whirling electrons - Pulsing waves - And all my carpet and all my floor, All my kitchen from door to door, House and garden, and all earth's plain, Thumb and fingers that pick in vain Only a pulse and a pulse, no more, Of the leaf of sun on my kitchen floor.

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