Under a Tree

by Stephen Paden

I could sit under this tree for hours
and not feel the sun on my face
as the autumn breeze nips at my nose,
because this place is peaceful,
in a world that has grown weary of it.
I could sprawl out on the grass
and feel the leaf stems gently poke my back through my linen shirt
and feel comfort.
I can stare up at the limbs of this ancient tree
as its leaves fall to the ground.
I could make shapes out of the clouds
That are now fading into each other—a blanket
for me to wrap around myself upon this leafy bed.
I can feel the mist cling to my skin
and the hairs on my arm stand.
But though this new chill that defeated Summer
brings with it cold misery, there is still peace—
peace in a world that has grown weary of it,
and warmth in my once-cold heart.

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