Winter Leaves
Koda 1992

The leaves turned
to look at their destination.
They always knew their time
in the sun would come to this end,
but the ground was not so dark
nor so cold in summer.
And when the touch
of their bright flesh fell
upon the decayed remains
of the others who had gone before,
it chilled them deeper
than their imagination could concieve.
They wilted and curled and became rigid
and the snow came
melting and freezing in cycles
grinding them to forgottenness.

The tree is old, and experienced
enough to await the certain spring
with accepting patience,
but when the first snow suffocated
the vibrant colors that were it's voice
in summer winds; and now as it listens
to the shrill hiss and howl
of it's body laid bare
to the careless eyes of the cold,
it's wisdom can not prevent lamenting
it's recent loss in spite
of knowing the new birth will come.

I knew you would leave.
But even in the dead of winter
the tree outside my window
still grips one last, withered leaf.

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