• Gabriel Gonzalez

The Wanderer and the Watcher

Farewell, he says

to the squirrels, the birds, and even the insects,

as they are the ones who will be the most

heartbroken

with him gone.


A Maple leaf,

the lone warrior

flutters down from his homeland,

cast out from a land of honor and discipline,

and becomes

a wanderer with the wind

filled with ambition.


Nothing but his blade,

the sweet melodies of his flute,

and the crimson blood running through his veins,

link him to the place of his birth.


He leafs from town to town,

encountering leaves from all different types of trees:

Oak, Elm, Birch, Rowan, the list goes on.


Yet never again

does he find another

Maple leaf.


He leaves each town

a little more distant

than he entered.


Sorrows and frustrations build.

Try as it might,

not even the wind can alleviate them.


However, on one fateful day,

it reaches the sea—

the endless chasm

sprinkled with pockets

of people’s ambition.


Its leafing leaves it deposited in the cold and rough waters of an unabating storm,

a Maple leaf sinking into the depths of the chasm,

no vision,

no aspiration,

no ambition.


Right before it is consumed

by the relentless waves of lethargy,

it feels the calloused hands yet gentle grasp

of a pirate captain and her crew.


As he dries on the ship,

he gazes admirably

at the peculiar drunks,

his ambition

restored.


He asks for a glass of gin.


A leaf?

But a leaf has no mouth with which to speak or drink.


The prospective future seems to excite him.


Yet he is unaware

that he may have already found

what he’s been searching for.


The ship departs.


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