Steady rain—a gloomy sunrise. The big dead maple next to the road has the palest bark, its faces gone blank as masks.
Under a thin grin of moon, the maples reclaiming their red. Three crows wake up with awe in their throats.
A few minutes before sunrise, a crack followed by a crash from just inside the woods. I delude myself that I can detect the type of tree: sounds like a red maple, I’d say. So unlike the way they come into the world—miniature claws already red with autumn.
Another woods-edge maple has gone red. Bouncing bet still blooms beside the porch, four months on.
Fifteen hours of off-and-on rain and everything looks greener. The big red maple that just finished dying sheds a chunk of rotten wood.
Hazy and humid. The sun in the crown of the big dead maple. A hen turkey putting like a slow motor, summoning her chicks.
Overcast and cool. A red-bellied woodpecker lands on a rotten maple, witters softly and turns her head, listening for the telltale stirrings of breakfast.
Robin singing in the rain. It could be April but for the lingering patches of snow and the lack of a blush on the red maples.
Gray with occasional showers. Distant crows. The face that I can’t unsee in the big red maple trunk with its expression of perpetual dismay.
Two squirrels trace a fast single helix down the trunk of the big maple. The typewriter rattle of their claws.
Thunderstorm just past, many leaves on the maple and black cherry trees remain upside-down, like pale, open palms turned toward the sky.
A gray day. My fever broken, I notice that the red maple down along the woods’ edge that had blossomed too soon two weeks ago is bare again.
The first, small, maple samaras are spinning down out of the gray sky. I’m startled when one seems to rise: a same-sized insect.
A blush of blossoms on the ancient red maple, one of my most important teachers when I was young and learning to climb—on branches now gone.