What is that one last leaf there
atop the highest branch of the frozen maple?
Hanging on desperately for dear life
after all her companions have long since fallen to the barren earth?
The wind blows, the rain and the snow fall,
and yet she holds fast.
A better view?
Of the greys, browns, and bleached landscapes of the coming winter?
A chance at rebirth?
As if the inevitable spring, so far away, might restore life
if she can hold on long enough.
Why hang on so long?
The wind is stronger up there,
the cold more piercing.
Solitude clear isolating and exposed.
Life leaves us hanging sometimes.
No clear conclusion, no answers in the wings.
Fall and falling inevitable and looming.
So we are blown, buffeted, and alone
while we hang on to the last stem of remembered sustenance.
We wait and are transformed, even as we are drained and dried.
Until we drop.
Joining the warm blanket of our slowly dissolving ancestors
Who have fallen before us and given us the life and strength
to hold on all along.