Dychotomous Sisters


There is a tree in my yard that, every fall, refuses to drop her leaves.
She sits beside a twin that throws off her leaves at the slightest hint of chill.

Both grow together in concert
one speaking volumes every Fall,
the other waiting quietly for Spring.

I imagine they are sisters.
One very prim, proper and protected,
holding tightly to her leaves, afraid of letting go.
The other free and easy,
happiest when she throws caution (and leaves) to the wind.

What makes them so different?
Both were born in the same tree lot,
were nurtured by the same loving arborist,
were planted the same depth in the Oklahoma red dirt,
and both receive exactly the same amount of sunshine, wind and rain.

At the beginning of every Spring, the bare sister always buds first,
not having any leftover baggage to slow her down.
The adorned tree buds later, hanging on to the past as long as she can,
until the fresh, green leaves of the new year begin
to push the old brown ones aside,
one by one
until she stands green and proud beside her sister
as an equal.

— Ordinary Alchemy