Sonnet on a Ginkgo Leaf

Through the strains of these veins, water did flow.

Nutrient-rich from root through trunk to tip.

For generations did this Ginkgo owe

None but itself a yearning chance to rip

Through Earth’s sullen view and stand above land,

And yet selflessly did its downturned leaves

Provide a curtain-like home to the ant,

A haven where songs of the birds could weave

Wise ancient tales of unwavering tunes.

Those selfsame leaves dance and shimmer like jewels,

Fluttering freely across many moons,

Bearing witness to all systems of rules.

I rub these veins, asking with my fingers,

“When we’re all gone, what is left, that lingers?”