Bernadette van Duyvendyk 

come
to the sun-soaked slope of a maple stand
and listen, listen to the chorus
come now, as March’s Sugarmoon slides through a waning night sky
and the warm solar rays of longer days
rouse the sleeping maples
cradled in each other’s arms
their musical scores stored safely
in the slender limbs of their crowns

come closer
attend the mother tree
her welcome mat, once a delightful, deciduous
melody of reds, oranges and yellows
now parched and winter withered
beneath a melting mantle of snow
the sap below
stirring in her slanted slope runners, and deep heart roots
as the lush ice mush thaws

come
lean into the long, smooth, grey ridges of her buffeting bark
hear the soaring swoosh and whishing swish of her sweet, spirited sap
rushing to birth fresh buds
feel her free form composition
ascending and descending
admire her harmonious disposition
to the fickle exposition
of warm day breezes and cold night freezes

come together
encircle this sacred stand
join in their ancient song
applaud their celebration of life
sit at their transient table
taste their sweet offering
after this long, hard winter
Maple’s Sweetwater Serenade
sung to the open window of spring