Leaf Light

By Emily Tuszynska

Featured art: Arnold William Brunner (1857-1925)

We live in green
depths of trees
planted by those
who grew old
and died or moved
away our children
play in yards theirs left
behind and sleep
in rooms that held two
or even three until

they grew our children too
are growing in summer
we box outgrown
clothes repaint
the walls new tiles
for the bath new
shingles the trees
don’t seem to change
though of course
they must the backyard
beech and oaks
that will outlast us
casting a deeper
shade the front yard
holly reaching farther
over the drive we pull in
and out of always
in a rush someone
running back for what
they forgot the trees
keep some other kind
of time spend whole
seasons taking in
their sustenance
strange food
without substance
every summer a feast
of light


Emily Tuszynska lives in Virginia, where she teaches at George Mason University and raises three children. Some of her recent poems can be found in Poetry Northwest, Prairie Schooner, The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, and Water~Stone Review.

Originally published in NOR 28

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