Late Greening Maple By Joel Glickman

Late Greening Maple

Deep into April now.
And farther south it would 
be further along than this,

but big and old and stock still,
it stands in someone’s yard 
like a forty-foot chart of its own 
central nervous system,

each new bud and ancient ganglion
naked under the breakfast table
of the Sunday morning sky.

Beneath it on the ground, 
last fall’s brown and dew-soaked
foliage lies un-swept  like so many
bits of fancy paper scalloped 
at the edges.

There will be more.
I understand both slow
and stasis better than I ever
did before—

If you can no longer
run out the kitchen door 
in a child’s scuffed and untied 
shoes across the sweeter grass 
of a more timely spring, and fall 
in line behind the piper, tweedling
his wicked and capricious way 
toward the bridge that leads to May,

you can still    just   keep   still
and stand your ground and wait 
for it to come to you, floating down
like a dipping kite, and snag it
by its one long raggedy coattail
in your branches.

Joel Glickman is Professor Emeritus of Music at Northland College and continues to teach there part time. He has published previously in Grand Little Things as well as a variety of other print and on-line journals and magazines, including Aji, Spitball and Minor Trips, Speckled Trout Review, Jerry jazz Musician, Atomic Flyswatter (an anthology by Longshot Book) and Aqueous (Lake Superior regional publication).

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