Maple Sap

Something Discovered I Thought I Had Forgotten

We took turns gathering sap
from the big maple trees

along the street
perpendicular to my house

before sunrise/during late winter and
early spring.

What’s the world like at 4 a.m.?

Not a sound
in the world

but for my felt lined boots,
scrunching over school kids foot prints

quick frozen in slush during
a brief span

winter allowed spring to
show itself before

pulling us back into
the deep freeze

one more time.

Three street lamps
at each end and middle of

the block threw yellow halos
onto the snow; sparking

frozen crystals flashing
bright from cold moon’s

night time light echoing

points of light shimmering
bright against

the clear blue-black
sky.

Between each light
shadows momentarily

snuffed me into darkness,then
back into the halo three times

in succession to
the end of the block where

turning, with brief visit

with each tree began the

one block journey home but for

brief visits
at the trunk of each tree

collecting drops of sap
slowly collected in

little tin pails from copper tubing

tapped

into each tree.

It’s early Spring/the trees still half asleep/these early spring time nights with winter’s lingering cold,
some beating heart within/in tune with spring time light pumping upward /sap from fingers reaching deep.

Synthesized energy!

stored in caskets of root below ground
aged five months the finest wine.

The taste?

Clean and cold,

faintly sweet, maple wood flavored,
the perfect essence of each tree,

as refreshingly cool to drink
on coldest mornings

as cold water is
on a hot summer

day.

 

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