Branches End: Poem by Shawn StJean

A Caterpillar on a long tree branch, crossing my head level

As I hike my morning away, in the woods.

He’s reached the very end, the very last bite of the very last leaf.

It’s taken his entire cycle to munch out to here.  Not so long, after all, but for him a lot of work.

The tree and the world are full of other leaves,

And other branches, but it’s a mighty crawl, back to the trunk.

He could roll off, to the ground. . .

I’ve seen others along my own tramp, some crossing to their business,

Others dead of the heat, or trampled.  Impossible to know

What will happen, in that direction, life on the ground.

Of course, the way back to the trunk is safer, more predictable.

Sure leaves grow there.  But who knows what bird may land there, as well?

So he waits, on the tip of that long, thin sliver of wood: ruminating, wondering, deciding, waving in the breeze.

The wind picks up; and I feel a big splat of rain on my neck.

Time to go.