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MAPLE AVE

Fenced in by maples, the road ran on,
now dipping to escape a gnarled, leafy arm,
now ascending into a high, tight curve
where ancient trunks seemed determined to serve
like the barrier rocks at some battered beach
blocking the surf as it surges to reach
the sand that fringes the frightened shore,
paring it down to a sea-washed core.

Squeezed by the trees, the road gives a shiver
and tries to become a rushing river
desperate to join the fields in a flood,
an impassioned embrace of water and mud,
but the maple trees discuss in their crowns
the needs of country folk and their towns,
and decide to keep this byway well-framed
and the would-be river dry, dusty, and tamed.

So whenever you're heading down Darling Hill Road,
whether ambling or driving or hauling a load,
and you see this picturesque country lane
scorched by the sun or washed out by the rain,
don't take it for granted or feel moved to compare,
just thank all of those resolute maple trees there.


Wildflower Inn, Vermont
August 1995


All written material © Bill Schechter, 2016
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