Advice To Maple-Trees

O little maple-trees,
Slender and unkempt, looking with shaggy askance
Upon the moon-spiked solitude;
O little maple-trees,
Growing a little toward the sky
That touches you to all eyes save your own,
You rattle insistently for wings,
But wings cound never tear
The stain of earth from your feet:
The earth that gnaws at you until
Your wing-cries strike the autumn night.
You see, with me, this crescent moon
Juggled on the tawny fingertip
Of a running cloud.
The touch of your desire, or its fall,
Would but be symbols of an equal death.

by Maxwell Bodenheim

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