I sit on a hill
By the old maple tree that I used to climb. . . .
Sap is flowing through its ancient trunk
To the massive crown of leaves above me now.
There’s a ring of scars where it’s been tapped—
Time and again—year after year;
I press my finger into one of those holes
Just as Jesus bid Thomas touch the hand of God,
And I pray for all doubts to disappear.
The impish fingers of the lush green grass tickle my legs
And invite me to play—as I used to do so long ago.
Dandelion chains and daisy secrets
Tempt me back in time,
But without a friend’s carefree, childish laughter . . .
Their charm is gone.
Like Adam in the garden bearing the burden of knowledge,
I now know how silly I would look
To pretend I hadn’t a care in the world.
I close my eyes
And from off in the distance, an owl calls my name,
While nearer still the robins sing and blue jays call.
Mice scurry beneath the ground,
And squirrels and chipmunks gossip as they gather.
The earth is alive; the fields are joyful; the trees rejoice.
I trace the name on the granite slab and whisper,
“Good-bye, my sweet, my lover, my friend.”
The stone is cold and still.
A gentle breeze strokes my cheek
And whispers in my heart.
Sunshine caresses my shoulder and bids me rise
To hope, to life, to joy.
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