Alight

By Michael Gray

The leaves have come to turning
chlorophyll emerald becomes burnt orange and crimson red, an inferno on every tree

Soon they will truly be alight smoke furling into the air
tendrils rising up before dissipating

Accompanying them are sparks, having broken free from the coals
they’re now ready for a taste of fresh air

As they float high above the heads of others,
I find myself a bit envious
they are able to capture the full scene of a fall evening from their vantage point While I remain here on the ground

But the feeling doesn’t last long

Because I remember that even though these lights flit freely across the sky and see all that’s happening from up above, they will soon be extinguished
while we continue to enjoy all that the season has to offer

Crisp air, Friday night lights, bonfire conversations, jokes told, memories made
These are the good times we think about year-round and remember throughout our lives
And it always starts with the crackling cacophony
of those beautiful reminders that another Fall has arrived.

Michael Gray is an aspiring jack of all trades, born and raised in Roxboro, NC, where he attended Person High School. He graduated from UNCW in 2020, where he minored in Creative Writing. He would like to thank his family and his dog, Fletcher, for always encouraging him to write.

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