Autumn Ginkgo

Autumn Ginkgo
by Paul J. Willis

(Ginkgo biloba)

Little leaves like ochre moths,
neatly rising on the stem,
you will have one chance to fly,
separated, then amen.

If we borrow your slight wings,
waving temporary hands,
we can hope in air to sail
not our own, but other lands.

If we stay upon the stem—
desiccated, limp, and lank—
we will be but moths at rest
eternal, of a lesser rank.

—from Little Rhymes for Lowly Plants