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Encounter

The first rays of an awakening sun
stroking local trees
this blue brisk autumn morning

I watched a downpour of color
leaves all chilled
by the night's coating of deep white frost
a golden and green morning
with me enthralled
while as if on cue and by mutual consent
thousands of leaves chose to fall

an incessant rattle and rustle
as leaf upon leaf selected that particular moment
to leap to the earth
a flurry of excitement as each
recognized that this was the one and only chance
to experience the glory of flight

each one brushing branches
touching fellow leaves
awakening siblings to the call

poplar, elm,
maple, willow
releasing the grip in an act of faith
a peak and glorious experience
a few seconds of freedom never to be felt again

in this
the final act of living
gold sails blanketing the earth
warming the mother that sustained them in life

stout trees with roots now dormant
gripping tightly the breast of the sustainer
leaves in layers
surrounding their source
all awaiting the cold winter of length
seeing far off
the nourishment of a distant spring

I stood there quiet and amazed
watching the dance of flaming glory
listening to the dry ancient melody
of an orchestration time past
animate today

animate tomorrow

G.J.G. 10/23/90

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