Hymn to a Maple

Gerrit van Dyk


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Your inverted slant is an acute note
west to east in the shaded sunrise
surrounded as you are by that moat
of rocks and weeds, dry as a chalk line.

One Goliath’s push would likely do,
would end your wind quivering forever.
And still I pray to you. Pray for you
to suck the least dew from your dust.

Forget you. Never seem to find the soul
to water—had plans of course—a desert
snaking pipe, brown as your bole
shaking from the easterlies of winter.

You’ve made promises, too, long gone.
Once you might have burned for Moses
cursing the crossing, striking the stone,
hoisting the serpent, left unseen.

Yet your sap untapped returns to me
against all odds, yes, despite my neglect
your dark blood robe covers suddenly
while I watch still through crusted glass.