Exit 21 Maple
Yesterday when I drove off Exit 21,
the Maple that had been deep red
had faded into the color of rust.
For weeks, I have loved her
Her vibrancy dulled overnight.
Over the last few weeks,
she has reminded me of beauty
And the strength of solid ground.
And yet every day I have known
that her color would dim,
fade to light brown and one by one her leaves
would let go their grip
and fall to the ground.
I wonder is my enjoyment
diminished because of this.
Could I stay in her autumn moment
the way I want to stay in the now
of my children’s life cycles.
The last bite of my runny egg on toast
My son's glance-back smile before heading
down the breezeway into middle school.
The last utterance of sun’s light
on my face before the rituals of evening.
The minutes before sleep when I devour pages.
find her hand under the covers and clasp
And the dogs pressed against me like I am a warm rock.
Even when Exit 21 Maple loses her leaves
She is still rooted in her position
Waiting for the next phase.
Even then, I want to notice her.
Even then, her roots
Spread out like fingers,
grandmothering the planet.