There are certainly other things that I could be doing,
and perhaps a couple of “shoulds,”
but this is the choice that I have chosen:
A gentle breeze shuffles the still-forming leaves
on the Crimson King maple we planted in December of ‘Eleven.
I paid premium (even at half-price)
to get a twenty-foot-tall tree,
but ninety degrees in March of the following spring
tricked the tree into believing that winter was over.
The freeze that followed killed the upper third
of its budding branches.
Such are the chances taken
when the temporary lies of temperature
tempt us into thinking we can escape the season.
Now today, after frost
on the second Sunday morning of May,
we set our lounge chairs on the low deck
that spreads around the older maple,
sipping cold drinks and soaking up the sun
that slips through frittering leaves,
happily caught in the nether
between warm glare and gentle breeze.
Even in this world
of killing cold and burning heat,
there are such moments of quiet and peace
for those who seek them
with sufficient determination.