DNA of a Leaf by Laura K. McRae

A leaf that’s been eaten becomes lace. Small holes 
scatter the edges, tatter them,   

and only the centre remains—  
cool green, marked by veins. The log too, bored  
into lace, by woodpeckers, beetles,    

termites, and those tiny bumps, clustering  
along the trunk—  mushrooms, maybe, or fungus— 
mark it as dead or dying. I can hear the brook as it bubbles   

under the high ground, a discreet cistern cover, latticed  
iron, greened copper, an interlace of leaves.   

It is not our substance that defines us, our marked  
skin.  It is our lacks, small holes in our fabric.  


Copyright © Laura K. McRae.


Laura K. McRae is a teacher in Toronto, Ontario where she lives and writes. Her poems have appeared in The Antigonish Review, PIF, Northwind, Room, Boston Literary Magazine, Emerge Literary Journal, Contemporary Verse 2, Clementine Poetry Journal,  Blast Furnace, Allegro Poetry Magazine, Tar River PoetryGrain MagazineSugared Water and The Fiddlehead. Her chapbook, Distributaries was published in 2016 by Frog Hollow Press. Find Laura on Twitter @purlpoet.

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