Tuesday, 9 October 2007

The Leafing Game

Cycling up the hill to work
A stray leaf swirls before me
And almost by instinct I reach
To clutch this first faller.

First form, lunchtime, top field
We line up in front of unnamed trees
And wait fro the wind to whistle
Through and start ‘The Leafing Game’

This simple contest would thrill us
As we chased a leaf to catch
Before it hit the ground. We’d hurtle,
Twist and leap in their sweet rot
Until we were the last still holding.

As if it was our World Cup.
As if we were great sportsmen.

And maybe we were. Our great game
The perfect match of boy and nature,
The random and the skilled.
Now leaves are to be raked, cleared
They clog gutters, discolour lawns
Where once they were all our pleasure –

We prized the withered leaf and
Allowed for no more than a breeze
To ease our youthful hearts.