Dancing in circles with a life of their own, around and around the dead leaves go. The rustling sounds they make are like thousands of tiny feet. They make me think of tiny mice, scuttling over the wooden floor of my childhood kitchen. Tap tap tap! Rat-a-tat-tat! Over and over again, those tiny feet go. Such mice are no longer with us, nor is the kitchen floor for that matter, but in the sounds of these dead leaves, they live once more. Upside down as I am, the blood runs to my head. It feels as heavy and as red as a ripened tomato. It’s more than likely as red as my head of ginger hair, too. Squinting as the sweat from my brow runs into my eyes, the leaves appear to take on different forms. To begin with, they’re simply mice, then they become fingers rising from the dry soil, fingers belonging to the dead of this town who were alive, but not anymore. All those people with their loves and dreams and wishes, now existing in the movement of these brittle leaves. Hanging from my branch, I spy a lone hummingbird. Flapping its wings in a blur, the sound it makes is as delicate as the rustling of the leaves that hang suspended in thin air around it. With its beak pricking them like a probing needle, it moves directly beneath me unaware or perhaps unconcerned with my strange presence, yet basking in the shade of my shadow nonetheless.