One Red Leaf

POEMS OF AUTUMN

When she left for a trip in early fall, she asked her neighbor, "What shall I bring you?" As quick as the legendary Flash of Green, the answer came back: "Bring me one red leaf."

A red leaf: Could so little mean so much? No doubt, no doubt, as it did to the woman who was once asked what she would do if she had her lengthy lifetime to live over. She too did not hesitate. "I would laugh more," she said. "I would make more mistakes. I would eat more ice cream. I would pick more daisies."

These were the nuggets many did not guess as rare - that took a lifetime to assess; these were the moments separate from the rest, that rose like cream and ranked among the best.

It took long years of fumbling, years of guessing to understand that everything could be put in perspective, could be dealt with, met with some such help as laughter, errors, childhood treats and daisies in a never-ending sheaf and the gift that Autumn gave back: one red leaf.

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