Sunday, February 14, 2016

Acer rubrum for Valentine’s Day

by Karla Linn Merrifield
Swamp maples begin leafing
in February in Central Florida.
Spring is stingy with their crimson
sequins or sparing of sightseers’ eyes.
I catch too few, so squint
into water below doubling the color
upon reflection.
A tree’s sap seems to be flowering
blood across the pond’s still surface.
A single maple in a singular swamp
is just now— now—coming into bud.
I am somehow younger, rubied
in the light, blushing in the shadows:
a girl again, rouged with youth.

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