Umbrian Opus / by Lily Greenberg

Far from the stone streets and chiming towers, I enter
a verdant cove of wood, in search of the small wonders
(I have heard) earth hides in her particulars.

I pry leaf from branch, and raise it to sky, where sun
extracts translucency. And there: in its illuminated
veins my fingers trace the bare outline of—a tree?

How could these lines bring forth the contour
from which the foliage springs? My gaze returns to origins—
not mighty or particularly tall, but outward reaching,

like a mother for her tottering child. But here I am trying
to grasp the part. I pluck another leaf, offer it to the light,
and there it is again, the same sapling relief hidden

in the emerald channels. Leaf after leaf I tear from the tree,
desperate for a glory separate from its singular source;
again, I return to that twisting trunk and branch,

its vascular canals replicated within the offspring. I step back
to see shadows layered onto shades until the hues
expand like a lung, solos erupting into symphony.