Did She Scream As She Fell?

Cocoon-like, she clings to the very tip of life. She clings through the gentle spring rain that swells her tender body till it bursts its crisp confine. Then she opens like a tiny green fist and blinks in the spring sunshine.

She gathers strength and toughness and when the autumn comes, unafraid, she turns her ruddy face into the wind, proud of her new clothes. Buffeted, she clings stubbornly to life, refusing to be torn away by the whim of the wind, but her strength is sapped as the tree draws into itself. Rain and hail and savage winds tatter her gaudy raiment but still she clings, hanging by a filament till one day her tenuous grip gives way.

Did she scream as she fell?

The newly fallen are still enjoying the adventure. Children gather them in heaps and burrow their faces into them, drinking in their musky scent. The fallen do not seem to notice the fate of those who have gone before. As the days cool her companions curl in on themselves for protection from the chill wind.

Ah the Wind. She gathers handfuls of their crisp bodies and tosses them about like toys. They are powerless in the face of her playfulness or rage.

Some come to rest in quiet corners where they sleep, slowly fermenting. Others land on thoroughfares and are trampled by boots and wheels. They are grey now and brown. They are soggy from the rain. Worse yet, some are combed from the earth where they lay, methodically gathered into piles and relegated to the fires of hell.

Did she scream as she burned?

by Jane Brunton

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