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It sounded like rain


but it was thousands of little leaves

falling at once from the trees,

covering the ground like snow.

In the midst of this was a lone tree.

All of its leaves were still like statues, except one

(one that was so strange among the others).

It swung back-and-forth, back-and-forth

like the pendulum of an old grandfather clock--

back-and-forth, back-and-forth--

keeping a regular rhythm.

The others, perhaps, were keeping guard,

stiff and erect, red and black--

like the Guards at Buckingham Palace.

And then suddenly along the walkway skipped its brother.

It sounded just like the steps of the neighbor boy

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but it was this big, orange-and-yellow,

dry-and-crisp maple leaf.

It was as if it were trying to keep up with his sibling rival--

pitter-pat, pitter-pat

but all the while was creating a beat of its own.

I was spell-bound.

I was a child again

and then something that hadn't happened in years:

I was skipping in unison with Mr. Maple

and rocking to the beat of the pendulum.

How nice it was to be a child once more.

As I ran into the house, the wild breezes followed me

and the ornaments on the tree began rocking

back-and-forth, back-and-forth,

except one which hung in stationary elegance

to welcome in a new Christmas Day!

Rosemary Jenkins