The Fall, by Arah Ko
I saved the leaves, plucked them from the sidewalk,
salvation from the rubber soles of children’s shoes.
Mama said they were beautiful, all webbed and veined,
crimson, as if blood pumped through them still
but yesterday I found them shriveled, paper thin and
winter dry, brown, crackling around the edges.
I cried, cradled them in the nest of my fingers,
laid them before the altar of my mother’s feet.
“Oh darling,” she said, plucking me from the floor,
rocking me in a chair as old as I was, “Nothing lives forever.”
Copyright © 2016 by Arah Ko