Some Trees Keep Their Leaves in Winter

So far, we have only theories
for why some dead, paper-thin
leaves cling to branches long
after all their chlorophyll is gone

Pale and dry as old coffee filters
I can hear them wheeze
as they catch on winter’s wind
not quite ready to fall

Some think they’re delayed
an ecological embarrassment
between coniferous and deciduous

Others think they’re evolved
a hero of nature, protecting
new twigs and buds from frost

Suspended between these two fates
of their intention and our perception
I can imagine them laughing at us

As if there always has to be an answer
As if how we look at the end

defines the life we led.


Poem and photograph by Sahra Kuper.

Sahra Kuper was born in Boulder, CO. She holds a BA from Hampshire College and studied writing at the University of Alabama’s MFA Creative Writing Program. She has been published in Tiny Seed Literary Journal, Wheelhouse Magazine and Even More Monologues for Women by Women. She is a poet, writer and career counselor living in Boston, MA.

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