The First Fallen Leaves
‘The boys’ and I are taking a walk past midnight.
Upon the sidewalk lie a scattered few fallen leaves;
once green and pliable, now brown, all dry and curly,
underfoot each dies with a soft crunch. The tree grieves.
Oh, this maple tree may still appear to be in its summertime
mood, all green and fully leaved, but it knows that it has seen
the last of the summer, for it has felt the chilly breath of fall
for nights now. Its sap slowed, soon its leaves won’t stay green.
These few leaves already fallen upon the ground were among
the weak or the meek. The remainder of their kin now prepare
to mourn the end of summer by becoming bedecked with such
vibrant yellows, orange and reds – hues magnificent and rare.
Soon their brilliant display of autumn colors shall truly bedazzle
all, but only for a few brief weeks -- such glory cannot long keep.
The mighty maple tree can only turn red in anger and grief over
summer’s end, but during winter’s harshness, barren it must sleep.
Harry Edward Gilleland 09.29.03