As our van wound its way through the woods,
And first snowflakes fell from the clouds,
And our children bumped around in the back seat, claiming their turf,
I spied a tree, bare except for a few straggling leaves on its very tip-top.
Against the wind, those stubborn leaves fluttered fiercely, swaying side to side.
“No-no! No-no!” they seemed to say. “We will not drop down!”
They remained in my line of vision for but a moment,
And yet I could not get those wee wrestling leaves out of my mind.
I was once among them, holding fast to the branch above, insisting,
“This is my stronghold. I cannot let go!”
If only they knew what I have learned, there would be
No more whipping in the wind against the elements,
No more thrashing against the tide of a changing sea.
No more clinging to the absurd.
Little golden leaves, fluttering fiercely as you are, soon you will learn.
But for now, as your feisty movements play over and over in my head,
I smile knowingly.
For, despite newfound maturity, how I understand your inclinations!