Here is a blonde-marked maple tree:
Stands by the road so stolidly
While mourners make their floral shrines
And in the night a taper shines;
But soon the taper will burn out
And yet the tree will remain stout;
And it will stand for years to come
Spreading its leaves beneath the sun;
And in the Fall will drop them too,
And with some Springs its bark renew.

Us mourners, we, will go to bed,
But where can a tree lay its head?
It does not budge or cringe or cry,
And does not ask the question: Why?
It’s just a token that young man
Is done in by his own élan.


Reid McGrath is a poet living in the Hudson Valley.

Featured Image: “Transcendence,” watercolor, by Cathy Hillegas

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