The trees are not ashamed of their nakedness. They have stepped out of their summer wear, short sleeved leaves that now lay idle upon the course concrete. Some have managed to fall upon the now stiff soil in hopes the dirt may integrate them back into the earth and they be born again by way of decomposition. But the winds will not give them rest, will not honor the time it takes for them to eventually disintegrate but will instead blow its breath against the now crackling foliage into my front yard. I have nothing against the leaves, but they should know that their friends have been here twice this week already and I am not apt to redeem them again. First of all, winter has showed up again on my Louisiana doorstep unannounced. It carries on the shoulders of the skies only black and whites and gray; a dull reminder that it is time for me to hibernate under the covers. I have bills to pay sure, but my boss doesn’t know that I have an uninvited guest this morning and will not be able to report to work. This is not about me though; this is about them…those dreadful leaves. I’m convinced they know what they’re doing. Like me, they wish only to escape the cold. They’ve spent enough time hanging out against the backdrop of tree bark long enough to know that darker colors are absorbers of light and thereby become better radiators of heat. For this reason they anxiously wait for me to assemble them into those big black garbage bags. Never mind that my face might fall off; that the frigid air will smack me across the head with its hand pulling my face along with it. And how would that look to the neighbors? A faceless woman fighting leaves on the front yard. They care nothing about this though, selfish leaves. They actually depend on my need to see color again. To do away with the browns and the grays and the blacks for just one more chance to see the sun play hide and seek upon the vibrant green of freshly cut grass—undisturbed by the ugly brown leaves sleeping in the back yard.
But today this will just have to suffice. I don’t feel like having to explain to my neighbors why I have no face. I am not yet ready to face the beat down I have coming to me for the chance to scrape up things that will just be here again 20 minutes after I am done. So now dear leaves run along now. Find someone else to pick on your bully’s. I am not your salvation today.