That’s life

That’s life

Through the sloping skylight
           a tall deciduous tree
with long thin vertical branches :
           most of its foliage has now fallen
but here and there clusters
           of withered leaves cling on
and at first sight
           and from this distance
they look somewhat like birds
           but as the winter wind rises
the leaves scrape and rattle
           and shudder together
creating a hollow dry
           cemetery sound

Already the tree is armed
           and primed for the coming season
the pointed tips of fresh new buds
           are visible on every branch

The remaining dead leaves
           will eventually take to the air
but with no wings to spread
           theirs will be a single untidy
tumble down to the ground
           from which they will
never ever
           rise again

John Lyons

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