Saturday Poem

The Power of Maples

If you want to live in the country you have to understand the power of maples.
You have to see them sink their teeth into the roots of the old locusts.
You have to see them force the sycamore to grasp for air.
You have to see them move their thick hair into the cellar.
And when you cut your great green shad pole
you have to be ready for it to start sprouting in your hands;
you have to stick it in the ground like a piece of willow;
you have to plant your table under its leaves and begin eating.

by Gerald Stern
from News of the Universe
Sierra Club Books, 1995