The London plane tree has two leaves left:
one is a bird about to fly south,
the other a bright sear flag in breeze.
Brief sun lights them up, abandons them,
as refugees from plenitude, from summer.
All you need is to imagine this:
two children hanging on to last lifelines
of their family tree, dispersed, naked,
lost in the forest of war
and now exposed, lit up by loneliness.
How is it that we see these things
but turn back to the small screens
where we keep up
with our own so-important news?
We wade through the dried leaves of autumn.
Watch with me tonight; stay and watch
into the small death hours
where meteors and satellites scour skies
with their great metallic weights,
when fox and owl own cities;
wait for the last two leaves
to let go their final hold on ‘home’,
spiral into the obscure tides
dehydrated, cast adrift, untellable.
A leaf for a life.