Once a Leaf

Oak leaf in my hand,

plucked from raked-up pile,

spreads wings in my palm,

but in my closed fist

crumbles into dust,

sapless residue

of forgotten life:

tender springtime youth,

prime in summer sun,

colour-change of age—

green to red to brown;

then the fall from grace,

now reduced to this.

I open my hand.

A chilling wind gust

scatters the pieces.

Death’s diaspora.


Copyright 2014

T. Allen Culpepper