red maple

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.

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.

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.