Autumn's Journey, Farewell

By: Jeff Erhart

They had been friends since they first sprouted.
Never were they apart, always only yards away.
They carried each other through the tough seasons,
Twenty long years in fact.

So it happened, on the twenty first year of their time,
The winter began to get a little colder
And the summer just a little hotter.
The leaves would fall just a little bit earlier in the fall
And wait just a little longer to bud in the spring.

The two friends toughed it out,
As they always had before.
But this year, something changed.
One of the friends noticed that the other was different.

Her leaves seemed a little drier,
No longer permeating that beautiful aura of green and yellow.
For she was now brown, and her limbs grey.
With every passing day she fell closer to the ground
Until one day, the owner of these lands, a great woodsman,
Came and took her away.

Her friend didn't understand.
She was alone for the first time in her life.
Never had she been without her friend.

She cried for days, dewy drops piercing the ground below,
Staining the earth with her sadness.
Never before had she been so mournful
As she had been that twenty first year.

One day, she stretched her roots out
In search for the last of her friend.
To her surprise and dismay,
She found her.

But what she found was something
That died long before the woodsman came to take her friend away.
It was her friend's roots,
The soul beneath had died.

Those cold winters and tough summers
Came too hard to her friend.
The hopeless spirit within finally extinguished.
Her friend never even said good-bye.

It had been five summers since that year.
She had seen many more hard winters,
But she still carried on strong.
Her buds bloomed in the spring
And her branches held strong in the winter.

She never forgot about her friend.
Perhaps she never will.
Maybe the spirit her friend had lost all those years ago,
Carries on now inside her.
Maybe she never really lost her friend.