By Gabriella Ganoe
Quick footed leaves darted between the currents of the wind, their bellies displaying a sunny yellow, while the edges looked to have been burned by a dark crimson. Smells of freshly picked apples and rising bread follow the leaves, carrying the fall air throughout the town. One lands at my feet, nudging my boot until I give it attention. I pick it up, and slide it in my pocket, careful not to curl the corners and tear a gash in the middle. It lay silent in the safety of my jeans.
The innocent shouts of playful youth cut through the endearing scents of the season, their delightful squeals joining the symphony of squirrels scuttering up the trees. I come upon the children playing in their yard, their mother eyeing them as she hangs an obligatory Halloween sign. She has a smile on her lips, but her eyes read tired.
I walk a bit faster, seeing as the sun is beginning to drape low in the sky, peeking through the slender fingers of branches. I know I need to hurry.
The oaky smell of wood was stirred into the cacophony, briskly followed by the accompanying pound of an ax against a tree. My face drew back into a wince, disgusted and fuming at the loss of unfulfilled life.
With my legs moving quickly, and the tired sun leaning onto the mountains far off in the distance, I make it to my haven. A hill. On top it lies a tree, just a single tree, abandoned by his buddies but refusing to leave his post. They look like they are waiting for someone, their bone arms grasping out for something it will never reach. Just like me. It also seems that whatever they’re staying so patiently for, is never coming back. Just like with me. So, I’ve decided, we wait together.
I make my way up the hill, boots digging into the chunks of frosted grass splintering under my weight. I find my way onto the thickest branch of the tree, my legs swinging from under me. My dangling limbs look like leaves clinging to its branches, and my warm yet stoic expression, looks like the bark weaving patterns into the face of the tree. We are the same in so many ways, needing warmth and light and something to stay rooted to. We both feel the sun rays brush against our cheeks, and we both peer out of what’s left of the town that we call home.