The Company of the Living


The maple leaves abscond
with summer’s green rain
on such little stems
connecting to spring’s essence,
summer twigs’ foliage,
the company of the living.
But now they shrug off
their red-gold existence
as if they’d never inhabited
the verdure of the undead,
drifting to a ground
hardened by sudden frost.
~Donna Pucciani “One Minute”
Who is ever ready for the harsh transition
from vibrant and alive
to dropped and dead?
We’re given weeks to prepare
yet the reality of another spent season
is a slug to the gut.
Time is passing.
I’m wasting time.
There is no stopping it
without stopping me.
We dwell in the company of the living
until we fall together.
Live well, fellow leaves
and we’ll let go together:
a gentle shrug and settling drift
when the time is come.

5 thoughts on “The Company of the Living

  1. Maple trees…maple leaves!
    At the farm we had 13 very mature maple trees…
    4 sugar maple trees and 6 Norway maple trees and 3 silver maple trees.
    We had another 6 very mature trees.
    Needless to say, we had a lot of falling leaves.
    Through the years we used different strategies to gather the leaves and remove them,
    before the winter snows arrived.
    Yes, maple leaves and other leaves are another trillion good reasons to have sold the farm.
    The trees provided lots of cooling shade, homes for many birds, and other benefits,
    but the work load for gathering up the leaves was huge.
    Some people said don’t bother. Let the wind remove them.
    Oh, no.
    That didn’t happen. The wind just pushed them into corners.
    And the amount of leaves left on the ground without our intervention
    would have ruined the lawn.
    Oh, I remember well the green lawn looking fresh and clean,
    after each session of raking and gathering and hauling away.
    And yes…within minutes the lawn was again a confetti of red, yellow, and gold leaves.
    This cycle of clean green and confetti color events continued for weeks,
    until the branches were all stark naked and ready for another winter.
    I wonder if the new owners realized what they signed up for, when they bought the farm.
    Lots of outdoor work spring, summer, fall, and winter.
    Don’t get me started on sown removal.
    There was lots of work, but there were also lots of rewards.

    But the body is just not as resilient as it was in years past.
    We are in a new season of life.
    Let us rejoice and be glad in it.


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