November 30, 2005
Leaves pace the sidewalk.
Not may left now--they look nervous.
Rakes have abducted most of them,
big callous hands herding them into
slick black bags.
A few escapees will be flattened
by an early snowfall.
Waterlogged at first,
misshapen clumps of tree detritus
and fading color and brilliance.
They'll cling to each other
till the sun, earnest and angular,
crisps them back,
loosens their sticky grip and
curls their edges into razors
slicing apart the safety of numbers.
Brittle and separate again.
Swirls of wind agitate them,
sending them nowhere
except the edges of sidewalks.
Every so often, random survivors cling
to some one's shoe or blow up
against a furry jacket--one last hope
But some child needs to find
a delicate leaf skeleton
when spring returns,
Picasa photo by WallMeadows