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The Life of a Leaf

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The wind never ceases its desperate ploy to remove me, 
Had I faltered or otherwise failed?
Curling I fought—the constant feel to fly freely, 
In collaboration with host—my tall tree.

In the scope of my vision, I watched as around me,
Losing struggle, and battle, and cause,
Others waved in decay, on each tree round the bay,
Clinging fast with vigorous resolve.

Over time and great space the cold rush did charge past,
Pushing green summer out with a chill,
Questioning why this event left ever so few,
Despite large crowded numbers in fall.

Green, orange, and yellow, now brown cracked and withered,
Flat dry veins on dead family friends,
Cut sharp from our ranks by cold wind and dry stems,
In a desperate permanent cull.

Birds witnessed our numbers through far less cloud cover,
Or shielded umbrellas for rain,
Twas the why that confounded had some rule been broken?
Stirring tsunamis of canopied woe.

The wings watched quite helpless as our count slowly dwindled, 
With effortless permanency,
Removed from the trees which had held back our reigns,
Ground cover we forever became.
In our world of great change mulch beds held no shame,
For all lest those raked from our ranks,
Seed, water, and heat, wind nares again beat,
As encouraged to rot—we survive.

Growing daily proud shadows, former hosts they now watch us, 
Observing without care or real fear,
For green stalk and crisp stem poised and growing within,
Spawn new life giving sap in the spring.
The life of a leaf is a lesson in seasons, 
Shortened life span of breaths of content,
Billion sunsets and rest in assurance this day,
That no humans dictate our providence.

Short term be our fate without shame in the end,
Permanent residence—Black Gold we become,
Rest now winter winds and let spring soon begin,
In a circle of life that’s our friend.

© Michael Wegman, 2014

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