Waiting for Autumn

 She chooses to remember that Sun was kind
when he whispered morning melodies
Fed her green smoothies
and avocado toast
Smiled and ­­­­­told her to hang on
a better day was dawning

The ritual continued day and night
Sunshine and young Leaf played games on neighbors' shadows
until Moon chased Sun from the branches
Sun always managed to find a purple mountain to hide behind
While Leaf played hide and seek with Moon
Sun was a patient and gentle suitor
He knew he could court his Precious One again in the morning dew
But now Leaf's skin is cracked and prematurely wrinkled
All because Summer ravaged her imagined rival
After hearing the Four Winds taunt
Leaf's boundless beauty could not be matched nor denied

Summer was relentless this year
With her
Southern whiskey breath
and moldy
pursed lips
Jealousy joined Summer and together
they overpowered the youngling and others like her
Leaf turned to catch a glimpse of an old friend
Who decided long ago to mock Fate
Who drifted down a pitiless path
With no one to comfort him
No one to dry his tears
Helplessly, Leaf bounced down a cracked sidewalk
that scratched and discolored her cheeks
Why did this happen to such an innocent part of creation
Who merely longed to dance and twirl and laugh
with Grandfather Tree
Who closed his eyes for just a moment and lost his hold on her

If she had a little more time, she thought
She could say good-bye to those who loved her for a Season
It's too early
Not even October, she cried
So unfair  

Leaf landed on a stranger's lawn
Her tired fingers released her hold
on the brittle dry grass
She resigned to the idea
that this was her final resting place
Leaf will be content until she sees her Beloved Autumn
Whom she never met but heard stories about
How he cools the brow of Nature's broken ones
with his misty kisses
And takes them to his sanctuary
Specially prepared for those who trust him
There Springs and Waterfalls sing in harmony
Old things are made new
And Love and memories grow new gardens
In due Season