Lesson in Futility


I came upon a man
raking leaves in the woods
and his irony filled my soul.
There, in a forest full of trees,
on the cusp of autumn’s primetime show —


I spoke to him and said,
“You are going to be here for a while,”
but he only nodded
and continued earnestly.

When I stopped to take his picture,
to remind myself —
this lesson in futility —
he gave his explanation.

But try as he might,
he could not convince me
his intent was not in vain.

Surely more leaves would fall
before he could expose the trail for others.
And what if they chose to walk another way?

Would it not be best to clear your own path,
I wondered, as I continued on
up the hill and around the pond.

• • •

Words & Image ©2013, Jen Payne

17 thoughts on “Lesson in Futility

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