Underfoot, the leaves are damp and cold
Which yesterday were dancing with the breeze
In flashing pirouettes of red and gold
Set loose from still abundant canopies.
But now the bare-boned outlines of the trees
Are etched in black across a slate-gray sky.
The wind feels like a prelude to a freeze;
It may bring sleet when next it passes by.
It’s not the first time leaves have had to die:
The wind has sung their funeral dirge before,
But now it seems like every year that cry
Comes sooner and we seem to feel it more;
For every cycle has a single thrust:
What’s born of earth must soon return to dust.
Donald T. Williams, PhD