Falling trees

Not so many years ago
The death of a colleague or a friend
Would have us sending letters of grief
And we’d stop to mark his end.
We’d gather in dark coats
On wintry afternoons,
To say what an excellent chap he was
And lament that he’d gone so soon. 

Now my peers are a forest of trees,
Leafless in the autumn cold.
They fall without announcement;
But often, now we’re old. 
The crack of the dry wood breaking,
The thud as the trunk hits the ground,
And the rustle of branches on the trees close by
Are distant, muffled sounds. 

Well, I’ll say, that’s another one gone;
Pause for a moment;
And then shuffle on.

A short poem with an undemanding rhyme. Came into my head in the silence of one night, and was finished by lunchtime the same day. If only it were always that easy!
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