How did I fall for you? The red leaf sways
and clings onto its branch, the only one,
until the wind detaches it. Good-bye.
It flutters, turning slowly, once a second,
picked up now and again by softer breezes.
It hits the ground sometime, but not before
it had its lovely circuit through the air.
The orange leaves still reign atop the tree,
so beautiful those few and short, short times
the clouds pass by the sun; for otherwise
the orange of the sunset drowns them out.
Their beauty, though, remains with me the while,
and often I intend to look for them
until they join their brethren on the ground.
How did I fall for you? Some leaves, brown, crackling,
wait in massive piles. For now they're dead,
but one cannot resist the festive pile,
the children kick and frolic in its noise,
the rake again runs over them. You know
that they will not stay orderly for long.
The branch, bare, does not break while people watch.
It watches, looks below at reds and browns.
Above it loom the orange ones. It waits,
records this scene now fresh, but not forever.
Snow will come, come piling on the tree,
the sturdy shoots will live, but all the rest
may fall, must fall, you told me. You were right.