First the Leaves Fall
First the leaves fall. Strands of hair carried away by the breeze leaving the body cold and lonely. Shivering limbs tremble in the night air. Too weak and unfit for the owls that flutter by.
Moonlight flickers through the wavering canopy, a candle on the nightstand. Breathing for the leaves never before this painful. Left alone the oak sputters and chokes for water. Underground arteries and unseen veins cease to carry blood to the heart of the trunk.
Bark blisters and flakes off exposing tissue. Fungal bedsores from lack of movement and blood flow, infection sure to ensue. Moss and mites converge at the base and wait—relatives, years removed, greedy for the dispersal of possessions.
The heart goes quiet in the silence of the night. No one gasps. No tears flow. Just the streams continuing with their lives nearby.