One Spent Leaf

Leaves in their prime,
Open for business,
Conjuring fuel
For roots and
Trunks and limbs,
Give no thought
To us, yet it’s they
We have to thank
For breathing out
The very thing
We need when
Breathing in.

And when they hoist
The hues of summer’s end,
Their unwilled bounty’s
There for us again,
Their autumn art reward for
All our respiration.

And when one falls
And comes to rest
And waits for me,
A rich brown symmetry
Veined in black and
Glistening wet with
Morning dew,
I wonder whether
Any other death
Might be as fair
As that before my feet,
The final elegance
Of one spent leaf.

This piece appears in The Ravens Perch.