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A Poem from Betsy


If I were a leaf,

I would stir in springtime and work my way through stem,

still curled and tight.

Expectant, I would rest and relish sun so warm

and, in good time, unfold

stretching, relishing the contour of my being

the tiny points

the indentations

the rhythmic veins

And I would meet my neighbors

whispering to them when the wind was soft

smiling when a gentle rain washed dust away

hanging on and shouting when the torrents came

And I would listen to the words of those who sat below me

cleansing the air for them by simple breath.

And I would change

wondering first and then exuberant

from vibrant green to regal red and gold

the oohs, the ahhs, the majesty

I, one of a host turning hillside to tapestry

triumphant, daring, self-fulfilled

and I would laugh and join the welling up of praise.

If I were a leaf,

I’d know it would not last.

Quiescent, I would wait

for dryness and for rustle

for words of wisdom from my neighbors as they waved goodbye

for nudging from the branch that gave me birth

for breeze to lift me off

and dance with me in pirouette as I went down.

Nestled with others I would not dread

the crunch of boot

the dragging of small feet through piles

the piercing of a rake.

My color dimmed, and torn,

I would taste earth,

and be at home.

Betsy Rice, 2009

Betsy is a life member of GPPC. Here is part of a bio we ran when she contributed to the blog a few years ago: Betsy, who’s at church most anytime the door’s unlocked; Betsy, who stands for the congregation with multiple good deeds out in the community; Betsy, who is the object of the question occasionally posed in discussions of committee work and faith journeys: What would Betsy Rice do?

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