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  • Judy Slater

Last Leaves

Towering maple, sentinel over bare trees,

Your surviving leaves catch the updraft.

And seen through the layers of elsewise empty branches,

You dance for these wintry woods.

Every tree moves in wind’s concert.

You move more, your leaves, descending propellers.

Yet the wind shakes not all your dry leaves from their stems,

Fierce hold-outs from elsewise bleak bare branches.

What plan shaped your tenacity

To dress the now-naked forest in leafy grace?

Is it God’s afterthought that hope lives in death wherein there is life?

One leaf tosses off, flutters down, unhooks, lets go.

Then all is quiet and you rest.

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