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    Shivering Leaves

I see the shivering leaves of oak,
Beyond
the eaves and window pane:
They
tremble like in need of cloak,
As winter's chill
on them has lain.

Outside upon a limb they cling,
And quiver in the breeze there blowing.
Before the freeze,
went others a-wing,
Before the cold, and white of snowing.

In autumn these had come to sere,
Yet
to a branch they still adhere.

They once were buds in spring of birth,
And now remain, their kind in dearth.

I feel a little akin to them,
These leaves with fragile stem.
With others of family gone,
I stay in days outdrawn.

I'm like that tree with foliage shed,
I've less of hair and balding head,
Sometimes with stick I walk my lane;
My autumn's come,
yet I remain.
 
One day I'll
be hanging out no more,
But
hope a breeze, gentle to me
Will lift me aloft in blue to soar...
Where I hope the glory of heaven see.

                                                --John Riedell

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