I breathed you in as August fled,
Alas, you could not come to me!
The trees of peace longed for you
And beckoned with their leaves.
I faced the eastward wind each night,
And felt for your sweet breath.
I wished for golden leaves to fall,
For summer to meet death.
I waited long, but all in vain,
For no high autumn came to me.
I longed once more for leaves to fall,
But it was not to be . . .
Golden leaves may fall in autumn,
But one did sooner fall than he.
They cut him from a yellow dross
And pinned him up on me!
How could I wish for autumn then?
Why would I want the leaves to fall?
Why would I long for life to die
When it could live so tall?
But still I felt for you by day,
List’ning for you when day was done.
At last you came, but all too late,
For all the golden leaves were gone.
They marched us down our peace less streets,
You watched me from your leafless trees.
I glanced back once to look for you,
But saw instead the fallen leaves.
They ripped my yellow leaf from me
And took my clothes and shoes away.
I shivered with the cold you brought
And wished you would not stay.
But when they marched us down death row
There you stood for all to see!
And in your branches, living tall,
A golden leaf flew high for me!