Iona MacLaren

School: Mary Erskine School, Edinburgh

Fallen Leaves

We are fallen leaves.

We will sprout,

Trunk from root,

Branch from trunk,

Twig from branch,

Stem from twig,

Vein from stem,

We all connect, yet,

We are fallen leaves.


Each fibre and tendril is uncurled,

And presented to the world,

Crisp in detail,

And full of life.

Each brilliant creation blossoms

Into a colour that is greener and more brilliant

Than all the green similes in the world could describe.

But these are falling leaves.


A fresh Autumnal breeze brings a change in temperature.

Colours of a more vibrant spectrum appear on the tree.

Pride comes before a fall.


The days are shorter.

The work is harder.

The money is scarcer.

The wind is colder.

The leaves turn grey.


On a dark October morning,

The first leaf drops.

By now the tree is covered in frail, spotty, twisted hands.

Dead hands.

One by one they fall,

Some drifting slowly, tossing and swaying, struggling,

Others fall straight down,

As if their weight resembled that of lead.

We are all fallen leaves.


Within the month, every leaf is trampled to earth.

Only a few withered skeletons remain.

That is all.


The next season comes, and warmth with it.

There is nothing left of the ill-looking hands,

Except for the smell that lies in the earth,

But what is also lying in the earth

Is a shoot of vibrant green,

A striking colour of hope,

Greener and more brilliant

Than all the green similes in the world could describe.


We are all fallen leaves.


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