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The darkness of lengthening night

Drinks the green from the peach leaves

Leaving them yellow and waning

Cold, wet breath

Trembles these pendulous leafy dreams

Clinging to the memories of summer

Relishing the vigor of working together to create sweetness

They reminisce with sighs and whispers

Until the sun’s heat becomes too distant

For too long

And all they remember is the release of the peach stems

The plump sound of gravity

Claiming the fruits of their labors

For the earth

Do they resent the sun’s rest

The tilt of the earth

The trunk’s wisdom to draw sap into root?

Or do they give their greenness with loving surrender

Letting their grip grow thin

As they glisten for one last day

Taking on the colors of their beloved sun

And peach

For one last moment of sweetness?

Is it a pain or a pleasure

For that grip to finally release

Setting them flying in a flutter of moist wind

Twirling down to give every bit of their flesh

Back to the roots

Through the mouths and bellies of myriad creatures

Becoming nourishment

Instead of making it

Do they lose that sense of belonging

At any point along the way?

Is there a moment of terror in the letting go?

Do they feel lost? Alone?

Or do they feel the flutter of their yellow siblings

Falling beside them

Shuffling through the portal between life and death

Dissolving willingly into the flow of renewal

Whispering and sighing with each drop of rain

Washing each speck of summer dust

Each yellow molecule

Leaving behind a lacy skeleton of memory

Just for a moment

Before losing all shape and size

Becoming Earth

Or remembering that Earth is Leaf is Earth

That nothing is lost or gained

That ripe fruit is only one pause

One burst of sweetness

Amidst infinite explosions of sweetness

For the rich smell of rotting leaves

Dissolving in the mist

Amidst memories and anticipation of ripe peaches

Swells the heart

Into a yellow fuzzy juice-filled fruit

Pumping sweetness into the blood

Grateful for so many peaches during the summer

And enough days of no peaches

To become hungry for them once more

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