Sugar maple tree torches the mottled sky.

Trickster winds nudge a single leaf from its mooring.

Like a gymnast, it sworls, down, down, down.

Then sticks to the glistening pavement,

its stem upright,

its hairy veins deplete of nutrients.

Musk saturates the air.

Crows gawk.

Yet decay rejuvenates the cycle of life.

Spring will whisper again under dove-gray skies.