A Leaf and a Feather
By Clancy O’Lafferty
I saw a leaf fall from a tree and I said, well that could well be me. I could not scream. I would slowly change colour and wither. Whether where I should fall, on the road, which would be bad, or at the base of the tree I would have to endure this: daily showers of putrid dog piss, and their furious back paws scratching, “WHISK! WHISK!” Flinging grass and trash and stinking dog shit.
Hey, maybe I am already falling. Maybe I’ve been falling all my life and wondering, now, if I should part my hair from behind or dare to eat a peach. Maybe the wind will blow me to Elliot’s beach. Maybe the Beach Boys are there singing a cappella harmony each to each. “Don’t ever get old, kid,” one old guy advised. “Don’t go to one o’ them homes when yer eighty, where they talk to ya like yer a goddam baby!”
I determined that I wouldn’t, yet somehow, I am tempted at times to break my own rule: to repeat myself, and in the morning, why am I inclined to study my own stool. I am falling and I cannot scream. I will not scream. Am I screaming now? I don’t think so. I will not be a leaf. I will be a feather… like the white one on Forrest Gump. And as the feather touched the ground at Forrest’s feet, it was not luck, so shall I, too, gently come to rest, and Someone kinder than Forrest will pick me up.