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 leaping 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.

– Ryan Stone


En Passant

It wasn’t a spectacular leaf:
rather drab, too long from tree.
Yet, the life it clutched
in its five trembling points
turned my strides into steps
into stasis. I watched
as it danced,
sucking more from a gust
than nearby leaves
better suited to flying.
It spiraled away
to a lazuline sky
while I remained rooted;
going nowhere.

Ryan Stone