Summer Leaves

Dawn’s sunlight breaks across the mountain ridge

Illuminating the trees in the vale below.

Mist rises from the creek that flows under the bridge toward the pastures downstream.

Night’s coolness gives way to morning warmth

And summer leaves drift down


Orange and yellow, green, blue, brown and black

The leaves come to life, spreading their wings. Catching the morning breeze

They float from heights above

Down to the willows and weeds gathered at creek’s edge


Lilacs come to life as the butterflies seek out branches

Where they flit and flutter in the morning sun

Each delicate creature a masterpiece of design and beauty.

Wings of stained glass perfection

Slender bodies, strong legs able to grasp leaves as

Butterflies probe flower petals sipping the hidden nectar.


The sun makes its daily trek across the sky

As Earth makes its annual trek around the sun.

Days grow shorter; night’s dominance begins, and

The butterflies sip with urgency

The passage of time and season now visible in their bodies—faded colors; rough, tattered wings; broken or missing legs.


And yet


They continue to wander from flower to fern

Seeking nourishment to sustain them for the days and nights ahead

When the butterflies seek warmer climes

And summer leaves.


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