A leaf in the wind

Redolent of musty forest
red apples and wood smoke
the breath of hot chestnuts,
comforting as a crimson caress.

It is as if the trees knew
about the bleakness in this part of town
concrete blocks and blank stares
behind broken windows

asylum seekers in faded-hand-me-downs
and war orphans, whose bundles
held no room for the colour of home.
Here, life comes in shades of grey.

Then a muffled explosion of colour
splits and shatters the dusk,
a wind whispered promise,
as an autumn leaf brushes my cheek.