red maple

Red maple trees blossom on their own schedules. The branches I watched the moon slip through like a slow fish last night are now ablaze.

Dismal and cold, like a November day—except for the daffodils, the field sparrow’s rising trill, the red maple blossoms about to burst.

After last night’s storm, all the birches and maples at the woods’ edge have lost their bright leaves, the oaks beyond still a sombre green.

A steady shimmer of rain. At the woods’ edge, the first fall fashions have arrived, two maples trading their faded green for salmon.

Rain. A squirrel crouches atop a maple burl, gray fur almost invisible against the gray bark, curled tail like a snake poised to strike.

The leaves on one branch of the big maple have turned yellow. The shrill cries of the resident crows driving an invader off the mountain.

In the soft light of a half-hidden sun, the old red maple beside the road is ruddy with blossoms. The sound of teeth chiselling a walnut.