red maple outside my window. four
seasons now, i have watched it in
those fading minutes before sleep – and
been woken by its armouries of birds stirring
in ambiguous dawn,

from my mattress
learned the dry-throated call of the cardinal,
the wail of the swallow searching for his mate.

i have watched it shed its leaves – one of the last
on the block to fade, it gave them all
to a dramatic thunderstorm,

and clogged the sewers for weeks.

 i wrote this october 11, 2007.