by Esther Thornburg
(Cantril, Iowa. USA)

Leaves of autumn hold evidence of other days.
A gust of wind sends them on their way.
From earth to earth all does return.
Of the cycle of living things we learn.

The sap from earth travels up the tree.
It patiently grew the bud to the leaf.
It is well attached to the branch, held fast.
Summer storms and winds blew past.

Each leaf has shape, heritage and design.
Its position to fill, in shade or sunshine,
No choice to leave, come what may
They must remain till autumn's day.

A colorful array ends its day.
A covering for earth for winters stay.
Recycle, decay, back to the soil.
Other leaves will grow from spring till fall.

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