Leaves on the Wind

This is a poem I wrote recently that was selected to be published in my local newspaper and also selected to be performed by a professional actor at a poetry sharing.

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1. Leaves on the Wind

The clock chimes five, December 21.
Startled pitch-black crows flutter away towards the balmy south, silhouetted on the overcast, muted silver sky.
The last of the autumn leaves drift away on the wind, leaving the trees bare and draining the land from color.  
Animals hide away into hibernation, obscuring themselves from the icy breeze.
They’re the only smart ones.
The rest of us stay through the algor and the ailment.
The sun has long since set and won’t rise for months.
I long for the day when the light will return, when the days will lengthen, when the grounds will warm.
But for now I am stuck, wandering, meandering through a frosty fog.
Blacks and dull greys settle upon the town casting a diaphanous, eerie, ever present shadow.
I walk down the frost-consumed cobblestone.
Heels clicking and clacking on the stones.
A frigid fulrry dissipates around me, penetrating through my threadbare peacoat and frayed mittens, piercing my numb, dry, raw, red skin.
Fires are flickering and crackling in each house I see, walking down the street.
The windows emit a glint of warm light.
A hopeful beacon that is immediately oppressed by the ashen clouds.
If only the fire-tenders would realize they aren’t worth the trouble.
Fire does little to warm against the freezing winter to come.
All they do is emanate thick, ashen, smoke that accumulates to the somber, dusky, charcoal hues compiling in this 18th century London slum.
I shift my sight to the sky.
The overcast begins to illuminate.
The clouds begin to materialize from obscurity.
I stop, shivering, in my tracks, tip my head back, and gape into the atmosphere.
Glimmering ivory flakes begin descending through the dry air.
Wind whips the specks around. They dance in the air. Beautiful lacey snippets of pure, creamy, velvet weaving through the breeze.
The snow looks too clean, too pure, to exist in this alley.
But it’s still enough to put a smile on my face and brighten my mood, at least for a second.
I rest motionless for a moment and allow the snowfall to settle in my hair.
Then continue wandering, meandering through the frosty fog.
Until I, too, will drift away like the leaves on the wind.

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