The Leaf on the Lane

That leaf on the lane has a life of its own.
It appears like a mouse on the road.
And then for a moment that small beast is gone;
And I think that it might be a toad.
When all of a sudden I see that it flies:
so perhaps instead it's a bird.
Then I know I am wrong. I can see from its size.
It’s a leaf. My idea was absurd.

So now when it lies or it flies in the breeze,
whether dancing in chorus or turning alone,
with each gust it turns just as if on a trapeze.
One moment it's there and as quickly is gone.
It lifts with the lightest of airs to the skies
where it travels in turmoil and chance.
For it goes where it can till it lands where it lies
at the end of its autumnal dance.

There it will settle, with more of its kin,
and the rain will soon dampen it down.
Then the gold and the light, which we saw in its flight,
will dull to the darkest of brown.
Thus that leaf which once lived will rot in its place;
and so it will be for us all.
For however we happily dance through our days,
comes a time for the end of the ball.

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