One Sunday when you're taking out
you realize it's finally gotten too
cold for shorts.
So you put on jeans, a flannel
shirt, and sneakers,
don your leather jacket, and go out.
Your neighborhood is old; the
The sidewalks and the streets are
strewn with leaves.
Smoke is rising from a neighbor's
and the smell of burning wood is in
You head toward the park and take
that parallels the creek. You walk
a canopy of red and orange leaves.
Leaves have fallen all along the
and you listen to them rustle
When you get home you notice
just as you're about to pet the
you see that leaves are scattered on
both in the foyer and the living
Your wife is cooking dinner in the
and leaves are on the floor in there
She doesn't make anything of it,
says she's noticed the leaves
but they don't bother her.
Beyond that she doesn't comment.
The next morning when you wake up
your bed is covered with leaves.
They're like a second blanket
and they go flying everywhere
when you throw back the covers.
Downstairs in the living room
they're at least a foot deep.
Your cats plow through them
and chase each other about
as if nothing in particular is
The entire house smells like dry
You go to work.
In the evening
you open your front door
and a cascade of leaves
spills out onto the porch
You wade through them
and find your wife
busily answering emails on her
The cats are asleep on the
the only piece of furniture you can
you and your wife clear off the bed
as best you can
and settle in for the night.
But you feel uneasy
and find it hard to rest.
In the morning you go to work.
When you return home
you see that the house itself
a house of leaves.
Your wife is standing outside,
wearing her winter coat,
holding the cat carrier in one hand
and her computer in the other.
"We can't live in it now,"
"The whole place is made of
Just then you feel a blast of cold
and you watch as your house collapses
"We'll have to go to a
shelter," you say.