Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Last Leaf

Last week, standing waiting in the dark for a pick up from the station, my eye discovered a spot of green, waving at the end of a branch. It was bathed in neon under a streetlight, thriving through winter like a hothouse palm while all the other leaves had withered and fallen.

One leaf at the end of a branch. One dab of green in the surrounding darkness. It sparked a little pilot light of happiness inside me. I was intrigued. I wondered if trees, lit like this, would never lose their leaves.

Tonight, standing in the dark, waiting for a pick up from the station, I remembered the leaf.

I looked up at the streetlight. I looked into the wiry nest of branches lit by neon. I was hopeful. I really was. But there was no flash, no dab, no spot of green. The leaf had gone.

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