Leaf upon leaf Forms a whole Tree

By Stephen Douglas

One small leaf curls and tucks itself next to another,

making a colourful show and they all form me.

From one tree each leaf painted with their own colour, falls.

Through the process of ‘fall’ each one lets go,

to tumble down, down, down to be seated all around upon the ground.

For me to be whole, there is the need to let go.

Years tumble and fall, abounding with smiles, laughter, tears, pain they fall

– each tumble down, down, down to lie upon the ground.

For me to be strong, I have to believe death is part of living;

For me to be tall, I have to let colourful leaves fall,

otherwise I be weak and small, when by nature I’m meant to be strong and tall.

Each year, I have to let my colourful leaves fall;

like tears, they roll down, down, down my trunk, to mingle on the ground.

It’s a natural impulse, I can’t hold them on.

Leaves and years, have a similar objective: they offer shape, beauty,

and difference; designed for a short while.

But then they flutter away, to join memories in the sky,

while new ones burst into colour.

These older ones, die, we say goodbye, dry our eyes, smile

and let the new be what they should be – a beautiful canopy.

© stephen c douglas,14 December 2017; edit 09 April 2020; for poet.kiwi