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  • Abigail King

Falling Leaves

Even with the weather balmy, the leaves fall. I love November for that. The way the limbs reveal the bare majesty of their structure.


Leaves fell onto us as we practiced in the park yesterday morning. I brought this one home with me, struck by its jagged elegance. Last year around this time I recall talking with a friend, saying how I admire the ease in which the trees allow the leaves to, well, leave. It appears effortless: your work here is done, thank you, goodbye.


Not quite, the friend gently corrected me. There's a process invisible to us: the trees must choose to stop sending energy to maintain their foliage.


When my kids were little we regularly read together John Updike's A Child's Calendar. While there is much to love, his November poem got under my skin the most.


November, by John Updike


The stripped and shapely

Maple grieves

The ghosts of her

Departed leaves.


The ground is hard,

As hard stone.

The year is old,

The birds are flown.


And yet the world

In its distress

Displays a certain

Loveliness---

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