And what is the maple doing

now that darkness has covered it

with a black shawl better used

for a Prussian funeral? It wants solitude

over homeopathy. No hands around the trunk

like a pat-down search and please

don’t disturb the roots and fondle

tender parts.

Let it shade for those

who want shade. Let it moss its limbs

and grow sword ferns. Shadows are its own

private business with the sun.

      It doesn’t stand

for sorrow. It is a chapel unto itself.

Winds hum through its leaves like sermons.


And when day arrives,

the tree will see the axe

and think Not to worry.

The handle is one of us.

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