“The Wisdom of Leaves” By Dawn Vogel

The trees, shedding,

drop an accumulation

of colored leaves

across the forest floor.

The animals, passing,

observe their falling

and interpret them

like tarot cards.


Those leaves

make the shape

of a Pegasus

about to take flight.

The birds take solace

in the image,

knowing their journey

will be protected.


Other leaves,

in the shape

of a spider

or writhing snakes,

fill the animals

with a nameless dread,

unsure which menace

they fear more.


And when the wind

gusts through the woods,

the leaves scatter,

more fall,

in new patterns.

This time, they show

two animals

falling in love.


And so it goes,

on and on

through the autumn,

until the animals

retreat to their

winter burrows

and fill sleepy dreams

with the wisdom of leaves.


Dawn Vogel‘s academic background is in history, so it’s not surprising that much of her fiction is set in earlier times. By day, she edits reports for historians and archaeologists. In her alleged spare time, she runs a craft business, co-runs a small press, and tries to find time for writing. She is a member of Broad Universe, SFWA, and Codex Writers. Her steampunk series, Brass and Glass, is available from DefCon One Publishing. She lives in Seattle with her husband, author Jeremy Zimmerman, and their herd of cats. Visit her at http://historythatneverwas.com.

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