Leaves in their prime
Open for business
Conjuring fuel
For roots and
Trunks and limbs
Give no thought
To us, yet it’s they
We have to thank
For breathing out
The very thing
We need when
Breathing in.

And when they hoist
The hues of summer’s end,
Their unwilled bounty’s
There for us again,
Their autumn art reward for
All our respiration.

And when one falls
And comes to rest
And waits for me,
A rich brown symmetry
Veined in black and
Glistening wet with
Morning dew,
I wonder whether
Any other death
Might be as fair
As that before my feet,
The final elegance
Of one spent leaf.

Bob Brussack has retired after a teaching career. He now divides his time between Athens, Georgia, and the south coast of Ireland.