You watch as though you think
there might be something undiscovered in it,
a simple maple:
blown bare in the second storm
of a mild winter. There is a rightness
to its name: monosyllabic, plain, wide on the lips.
It is a tree without exception.
And yet you, through the sliding door, observe
as though something amazing might emerge
from the damp yellow bark of a garden tree
as though aware that in the solid wood
there is a secret hollow,
a whisper that once,
in the thick of a December night,