I recently entered a writing contest in which I could enter as many times as I desired. I found 3 entries to submit. The one that I am sharing here was a class assignment from almost 10 years ago. The assignment was to write a metaphor. On a trip to Dayton, I observed the different ways that trees either lost or retained their autumn leaves.

I evidently was trying to impress someone (who? I have no idea) with my multisyllabic vocabulary. I really did try to tone it down a bit, but what does one do with a sesquipedalian?

Here goes:


The coloring and leaf patterns of October trees are reminiscent of relatives found in many families. The golden bouffant of a fully-dressed elm suggests a silver-maned grandmother who never skips her weekly visit to the beauty salon. Grandfather is portrayed by the tall domed crown of the horse chestnut whose tired, drooping browns illustrate the passage of time.

The aunt’s image is reflected by the green-tipped frosted hair of the silver maple. The uncle’s friar’s cap is accented on the broad, round head of a chinquapin by the crown that has lost its uppermost locks through the tossing of less than gentle breezes.

The osage orange fruit is the perfect “earring” complement for mother’s blonde hair-do. Standing adjacent is the executive father in his pin-oak copper suit. Rustling teenagers avoid parents sitting on a lot next door. The well-developed American beech son shows an abundance of yellow-brown foliage overdue for a trim. Daughter tulip tree’s golden tresses cascade like Lady Godiva’s legendary locks.

The toddlers are playpenned in the backyard. A golden-haired ash boy displays irregular wispy patches showing the underlying skeleton. His toddler sister birch mimics the golden bob of Trixie from the Hi and Lois comic strip. A squirrel’s nest at the top resembles the iconic topknot.

This nuclear family opens its arms to other branches like the punk-colored red maples, the bald hickory and numerous distant cousins sporting hue and style tailored for each individual’s complexion.

As autumn develops, one more descent is observed. Deciduous transitioning leaves remnants. Colorful strands dominate a symbiotic relationship with the lawn. Manicuring will require either a comb-rake or a blower.