Autumn Leaves

A stumble and a question -

A confused look in faded blue eyes.

With each breath, with every minute,

A living cell flickers and dies.

.

Like leaves once green upon a tree

That lose their colour so easily,

And decay into burning, seething red

Then fade to orange, amber – dead.

.

A smile that lingers but knows not why,

And a shuffle down the hall.

The muddled grasping of wearied fingers

That try to cling to it all.

.

But for those leaves it takes but one damp breeze,

For them to unsettle, tremble and release with ease;

And they flutter down on a staccato breath,

Peacefully broken, even in death.

.

The brightened cheeks of weathered skin

And a spark that sometimes stays.

These are the occasions we tearfully treasure –

These gentle glory days.

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In misted grey the rain comes around

And sticks the leaves to the surrounding ground;

They rot amongst roots, fester and decay –

Lingering in a damp, miserable delay.

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A tear glistens, too scared to speak,

As the music fades silently out.

Soaking the pictures in saltwater,

Sinking shadows and drowning doubt.

.

And then the wind came to loosen the leaves,

To carry them out on the strength of a breeze.

Sweeping down the street, they scatter and die,

Rot further away or find someplace to lie.

.

They leave the tree bare, those once green leaves,

Snatched and taken, but not the victims of thieves.

A fact of nature, the doctor says,

But I see no relics now of those glory days.

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The tree is withered, its branches bare:

I see no summer or life signs there.

The memories are lost and scattered like leaves,

But soulless, the victim still wearily breathes.

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Well you don't die of it; you die with it they say,

Once summer's gone and the leaves have blown away.

A tear for every memory, every thought displaced,

For the songs forgotten and life we waste.


I wrote the base of this a long time ago, shortly after a family friend who had suffered from Alzheimer's died, but I didn't post it. I found it again the other day and rewrote it, added and changed some bits until I was happier with it. I'd love to know what you think.

Eleantris. :)