by Ryan Stone
The last leaves are golden,
most have already flown.
Branches hang bare
beneath ashen skies.
Not so different from when you climbed,
hand over slow hand, waging a war
inside your young mind. One leaf
breaks free, hangs on a moment,
before slipping into the maelstrom.
I imagine a short fall,
sharp jerk and silence;
but it's only a leaf and spirals away,
no note to mark its passing.
first published in Poppy Road Review, June 2016