The Maple Tree
On the slope of a hillside plain to see
by Winnifred Jenkin
Staunchly stood a maple tree
At her huge rough bark and branches tall
I gazed with awe when I was small.
On her strong great limbs I used to swing.
In a small clear voice with joy I'd sing.
I felt as I watched the clouds on high
There was no one but God, the tree, and I.
And there the Robin built her nest,
Cradled high in her arms to rest.
The noisy young would chirp and go
On faltering wing to the valley below.
As her soft green leaves turned yellow and red,
They fell on the ground in a crisp crumbled bed.
My tree who had been so green and fair,
Looked lonely, cold, withered and bare.
Heavy with ice and winter snow,
I watched her weather the winds that blow.
When warm spring sun brought up her sap,
She slowly awoke from her winters nap.
Season on season, years do rush
And time is prone to changing much.
I often wondered if she still
Graced that green and fragrant hill.
The old graveled highway is now firm and gray.
Oh, how long I have been away.
Tall building and "centers" now I see,
Where caring neighbors used to be.
I'm apprehensive once again,
As I approach that dear old lane.
These changes I see -- what will I find?
'Mid the lovely memories I'd left behind.
As I pulled into the lane I felt a tear.
It all looks familiar, no progress here.
I leave the car and gulp the air,
The scent of clover seems everywhere.
There are the "Black-eyed Susans" and weeds galore,
With quickened steps I'm young once more.
I rush to the curve. Oh, can it be?
Through mist filled eyes I see that old tree.
Yes -- she stands on the hillside swaying low,
Her branches moving to and fro,
She waited through the years for me,
A faithful friend, my maple tree.