Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I stare through my kitchen window
at the Japanese maple in my neighbor's yard.
It's neon scarlet branches droop, bounce almost, in the wind.
Hanging over the rock wall that divides us.

I do not wish to be any more one with my neighbor, but I covet dearly his tree.
And not even the tree, more the idea of the tree.
How a beacon in the changing season. How a beacon in the wintry October rain.
Watching the tree, I think I can.
But I commit no sin, as I step outside, shovel in a gloved right hand.
I steal none from God.
But how I so want to touch them, limbs outstretched. And whose limbs?

Anyhow, tree limbs are too high, I can't reach even on tipped toes.
How it must look from the other side--
a grappling hand pulling at rocks, nails digging in mortar, fingertips
swinging, disappearing, swinging.

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