Pretty leaves outside my window, feathers for a favorite tree,
Wafting, waving, gently testing breezes from the distant sea:
Brief the time you spend among us, scarce’ a season (not much more)
‘Til the call of colder weather draws you to the forest floor.
While you’re here you do your duty, toiling uncomplainingly,
Binding sun and earth and water into fiber for your tree.
Comes the fall you’ll turn to crimson, drop in waves as north winds blow,
Drift to earth in numbers legion, vanish under winter’s snow.
Even in your passing, though, is purpose, part of nature’s plan;
For you’ll leave a richer earth for unborn members of your clan.
Pretty leaves outside my window, living life so purposely:
When I fall to earth one autumn, will the same be said of me?