Playing outside before dinnerleaves
Still wearing her Sunday best
She gathers up foliage
Held tightly to her chest

Many skirts full collected
And added to the stack
Every crunch and crinkle
Makes the little girl laugh

Nature gently announces
The end of a season
Shedding its autumn colors
And giving her reason

To celebrate life
With chaos all around
She jumps and twirls
Falling safely to the ground

A comforting witness
To my heart that grieves
Adonai’s mercy made new
From a pile of dead leaves

Jayne Schmidt, Fall 2012