by John Ritchie
Outside it is Autumn again. The first Autumn, since I met you walking your dog, we haven’t been out together collecting leaves. I always tried to help, but you told me with great seriousness that you couldn’t just pick any old leaves, they had to have special properties. To this day I have no idea what those properties are, but every now and then you would take one of the dozens I’d scooped up and say, ‘Oh, yes, well done, that one’s perfect.’
When I knew you better and you took me home, I discovered you rubbed lanolin into the leaves you gathered to stop them drying out and kept them in bowls in the room where you wrote your lovely poetry.
Now you’re gone, I hear Nat King Cole sing about ‘Ol, winner’s song’, but like him, I miss you most, my darling, when Autumn leaves start to fall.
John Ritchie used to be an old softie; nowadays he is a lot chewier.