The leaves fell early that year —
Not because they wanted to,
but because they had to —
Like your departure – you had to –
You were leaving that whole spring and summer.
Your smile always strained,
became taut as the invader worked his way to your heart.
The leaves outside the window,
on the maples and oaks,
next to the freeway,
shattered light into a million pieces.
They tried to hold on —
to lift their faded colors on more time,
one more moment.
Then you slipped away —
in the middle of the night –
with no one there.