Chris Tan
2 min readMar 26, 2021

The Autumn Leave

The autumn leaves are not as they seem.

The ends of the forest lay still and while

the spool of time twist on their roots,

the ghost-quiet winds blow out of the thick

of the dense, luscious green of earthy mound,

a single leaf, of a rosy red and a tint of orange.

The holiday spirit seeps into the blood of the town.

But the autumn leaves are not as they glow.

They pass by long-gone works of men and take

a trip from winds to bring them south, into

the children’s eyes, as they go to rake

upon these floating jewels of reddish hue.

As soft-served hands touch upon its veiny stems

The autumn leaves are not as they feel.

They taste of maple, some of them do.

The children try to squeeze the red out of the stems,

but none of them do.

Parents pick up their crying children as they

remove the red fluff from their children’s mouths.

For the white oaks that lay at the forest’s foot,

the guardians of that sacred forest,

know something is amiss.

The autumn leaves are not as they taste.

To those whose minds wander far too deep,

into that forest, whose nymphs dance between

the trunks of large hornbeam guards that stand so tall,

they find what they’ve been thinking of.

A hole.

220 centimetres long.

71 centimetres wide.

60 centimetres tall.

And they lay there to never return.

As a blanket of leaves fall on top to set those men to rest, they knew:

the autumn leaves are not what they thought.

they smell of rust, of Ironwrought.

For by next fall, when the winds come to town,

carrying their children back into empty arms,

The missing men of Haber Hall

return to their loved ones, their wives, their kids,

in loving arms, into a crushing hug,

The Latefather was right.

Maybe the autumn leaves are not as they seem.

This is part of a book I’m writing right now, but I don’t know if I’m finishing it. As with most things. Follow me on Twitter (

Chris Tan

Resident moron at the University of Waterloo, living rent-free at