The last orange leaf on a tree in autumn
Stares down at a little girl, playing.
Gold, orange, brown, the leaf shivers, cold
In the half-hearted, cold-hearted breeze.
"Hold on, little leaf!", the girl calls up -
The leaf trembles light in answer.
"I like you up there, don't go, don't go,
"There are too many leaves fallen here."
Battered by wind, and gusts of fall
The leaf holds tight to her branch;
The shivering colour glistens in mist
Weighing down, but she does not fall.
The girl came back daily, as October got colder,
For all she could do was watch -
This leaf was beautiful, but frail and tired;
The only leaf left on that tree.
It held on for long, and that girl was so proud!
But after all, it was not long enough:
One aching morning, the leaf pulled her stem
From the branch she clung to, so dear.
She fluttered and flew, was tossed about so
Missing branches, evading the ground -
The wind blew her forth, lift'd her in flow
Till the wind saw the little girl below.
The orange caught her eye, and she laughed with delight
And ran after that gold leaf in flight -
Up did she jump, and on ground she'd alight
In her small hands: the sunny little leaf.
She knew, as did the leaf, that in days she'd crumple
And grey and darken and brown,
But for now and the next few beautiful moments
The leaf was safe; the little girl, happy.
Did the girl save the leaf? No, not at all;
It was chance that the wind saw her there -
Such are the seasons, for too many reasons,
*The orange leaf just happened to matter.