Naked as the Maple Tree


It’s almost naked now.
The days have grown shorter and the temperatures cooler.
My world has shrunk to the size of my heated
1000 square feet apartment. Maple leaves have covered
the footpath in a mosaic of yellow,
orange, red and brown.

It saddens me to think how the maple tree must ache for its loss.
To shed the very leaves it nurtured all year and then to do it over
and over again each year?
How hard it must be for the maple to detach so completely that it
has nothing left but it’s own trunk to pine for?

And the leaves that scuttle at its feet like red and brown rabbits.
So far removed from their binding truth, fallen from the
heights; unable to churn the green juice of life. Do they
beckon out to him like children to a father? And in punishing them
thus, does the maple punish itself?

But then I remind myself that come Spring this very Maple shall be full again;
thick with its vibrant foliage. Once more it
shall bleed its rich nectar, and the young leaves will cover the
length of its skeleton; embalming the pain. Life will find a way.

For now, I must liberate myself of your memories;
stand belly-naked from your binding thoughts. So that one day
I too can feel full again.

18 thoughts on “Naked as the Maple Tree

  1. Dear Neha. I come back to this poem again, and in part for its line “I . . . stand belly-naked from your binding thoughts” – nice! And partly because yesterday evening, Christmas evening, in the bath I read this fragment from Coleridge’s “Christabel”:
    There is not wind enough in the air
    To move away the ringlet curl
    From the lovely lady’s cheek—
    There is not wind enough to twirl
    The one red leaf, the last of its clan,
    That dances as often as dance it can,
    Hanging so light, and hanging so high,
    On the topmost twig that looks up at the sky.

  2. I would love to see this in a relatively traditional sonnet form, with a set meter and rhyme scheme. (Paul Fussel, Poetic Meter and Poetic Form always cherished.) The transition from tree to love is so much in the sonnet tradition. Best, Wm. Eaton, Montaigbakhtinian

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