The Lone Survivor

At the apex of the sapling, bare
A single yellow leaf
Flutters wildly in the south wind
Quite stout in its belief
That it alone will conquer
What others did not endure
That when the days grow longer
It’s grasp will still be sure

Like the flag on Suribachi
This lone survivor stands
While each of many comrades
Lies strewn across the land.
Though near the Winter Solstice
And the end of leaves’ commission
The spirit of this hold-out
Defies ordained abscission
Though its days are surely numbered
And thousands like it fell
This fragile leaf of cottonwood
Stands tall for winter’s knell
Within certain individuals
Such strength can well be seen
When things seem lost and hopeless
And survival’s just a dream.


As penned by Rudyard Kipling In his lines entitled "IF," And immortalized by O. Henry, This last leaf gives me a lift by holding out, against all odds And winning, through today.  The victory’s in the holding on, Tomorrow?  Who’s to say?

Dan Crummett
187th AHC
December 1, 1998

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