Updated: Nov 13, 2021
Leaves crunched under his feet.
They were dead.
It was fall around there,
And he was stepping on death.
They had once been alive.
The shedding of the old,
To make room for the new.
That was the way of nature.
The old faded away.
The new would take over.
Such was the way of the trees,
Such was the way of us
He was just 13 but
He had a feeling the current old didn’t want to fade away.
He didn’t blame them.
He couldn’t begin to imagine what it was like to be closer to death than to life.
It had to have been a strange feeling.
Nowadays it seemed like the old leaves didn’t want to fall with the changing of the seasons.
They clung onto their branches like their lives depended on it.
Absolutely refusing to let go.
He supposed their lives did depend on it.
But the seasons change
And the leaves were powerless to stop it.
No matter how viciously they clung,
They would fall.
And it would be the ‘new’s’ time to be colorful and beautiful.
It was supposed to be a natural thing.
‘These leaves were fighting against nature’, he thought.
They were trying to be more powerful than her;
As much as they wanted to be,
They weren’t gods.
They were just old leaves.
Destined to be replaced.
They wanted to control every branch,
Every piece of bark.
They had been given some,
Now they wanted it all.
They wanted to control the whole tree.
They had gotten greedy.
They poisoned the leaves that were supposed to replace them.
Making them think they had no right to be alive.
No right to be beautiful.
No right to be colorful.
That the tree was dying
And it was their fault.
The new was responsible for the death of the old.
That's what they taught them.
Evil by nature.
They poisoned the roots,
And the whole tree suffered.
The tree whispered this to him when he had stopped and looked at it.
He could hear the suffering in their voices.
He could hear the fear.
‘How did this happen?’,
He asked them.
They responded in faint whisper of the wind,
‘.... we let it happen.
We didn’t stop them.
They shame us,
Tell us we are no good.
They tell us we are broken.
That we should fall next,
They say we should sacrifice
So they can live…’
He wanted to help.
It seemed unfair to him.
It seemed cruel.
He climbed the tree.
He started reaching out and plucking the old leaves away.
He could of swore he heard the faint sound of screaming
But maybe it was the wind this time.
He ignored it and kept plucking frantically.
They floated slowly to the ground.
Rocking back and forth as they floated downwards.
He picked every leaf off of every branch until the tree was bare.
He climbed down.
He walked away.
Death crunched under his feet with each step again
But this time
he was happy.