Submitted by George Freek
(After Tu Fu)

Sparrows whirl overhead,
like drunken acrobats.
Above them the sky is gray
with the sadness
of a million yesterdays.
I walk through dead leaves,
falling from stunted trees.
A crow hovers above an oak.
He stares at me,
wishing I were dead.
His scream is shrill.
Barren branches tremble
in the grip of a relentless will.
The sparrows finally settle
on the bare branches,
like lovers who have
loved their fill,
and are now still.

Photo credit: Wimbledon Park, Autumn After Glow РJohn Atkinson Grimshaw

For the first time in nearly five years, Vita Brevis is closed for submission. Read the full story here.

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