Thursday, October 20, 2011

still life

a gust of wind. a single oak leaf. final threads shook and broken, it floats to the ground.

and then it's on the pavement, brown on grey, shunted into the gutter by the wake of a passing car. and now it's undistinguishable. just another leaf in the pile.

but did you watch it fall? did you see how it rocks laterally, turns over and over itself, even sometimes gaining altitude for just a single frame of vision on some unseen up-current? it descends, for sure, but gently, in stages. now plummeting, now drifting. cradled by the same air that draws color into my cheeks.

It got its 15 seconds of fame, that leaf. Not when it was a brighter hue, up there in the neighborhood canopy. It was just part of the general autumn glow. Not now, as a dry and crumbling cast off, a ghost of summer scratching around on the pavement. But then -- when it danced on it's way to the ground. Then, when I watched it fall. Then, when it imprinted in my memory and stays there still. In motion.