One more leaf

I watched
as one of autumns leaves
tumbled across the road,
it’s golden silhouette
illuminated in the headlights
of an early morning commute. Thousands still
lie matted to the ground,
wet and turning to pulp.
In the trees overhead
millions more shone
in amber,
gold and green…
turning to browns.
We marvel
at autumns turn,
expressing in awe
our thoughts
on this beauty
born of summers death.
We never do this,
though,
in our daily lives.
Most of us shun death.
My neighbor died,
yesterday.
His people came
to say goodbye.
I have lived next to him
for almost a decade
and I could not be moved
to cross the line
between his yard
and mine.
I had known he was sick,
knew it was fatal,
and I never reached out.
He was turning amber,
gold and green
and I never tried
to find the beauty.
I knew, even as it unfolded,
that this was a failure
within me.
But this morning
one leaf tumbles
and in it
I see the loss.

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