The Maple

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The Maple

She couldn’t bear to wear
that same green dress
another day. She was sick
of blending in, of posing
in the same plain uniform
as everyone else in the wood.
So, about a week ago, she showed up
orange. Her leaves sparkled
like the bells on a belly dancer’s belt.
She shimmied like she was on fire.
The whole place was shaking,
until yesterday, when the accordion
sneezed, the lute snapped a string
and all her sequins flopped.
Now there she is
standing naked in the cold.

© Elizabeth Steinglass, 2013, all rights reserved

For more Poetry Friday, visit Diane at Random Noodling.

21 replies
  1. Bridget Magee says:

    Love this poem, Liz! The lines: “Her leaves sparkled like the bells on a belly dancer’s belt.
    She shimmied like she was on fire.” give us such vivid detail and description. Ending with “Now there she is standing naked in the cold.” is the harsh reality of winter for even the fanciest among us. Nicely done!

  2. Buffy Silverman says:

    Terrific Liz–love the “bells on a belly dancer’s belt” and “her sequins flopped.” Since you claimed not to have a gift for metaphor, apparently it can be taught!

  3. Robyn Hood Black says:

    Hear, hear to all the above accolades… you REALLY nailed voice in this poem, Liz! (“The whole place was shaking”). In my mind I’m playing with it in first-person, too. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Janet F. says:

    Oh, the tree sick of her green dress….so many can relate, right? And her leaves as belly dancers’ bells and whistles!!! I like how you take us through the seasons with your lively fashion plate, the tree! Linda Boyden wrote a poem about a crepe myrtle tree. which I shared on FB. This subject calls for new twists and yours certainly is. Can’t wait to share with your fans in third grade. They know My Pumpkin by heart. I will video and send it to you!

  5. Heidi Mordhorst says:

    What they all said and also–I hear a new tone in the voice of this poem, not just Lady Maple’s, but in yours, I think. The musical instruments are killer. I like Robyn’s idea of trying it in first person, but I also wonder who that third person is, that voyeur. Beautiful.

  6. LInda Baie (@LBaie) says:

    I’m sitting here looking at bare trees out my window, now wondering if they’ve lost their sequins too? I love the voice, & I too wonder who it is. It’s beautifully melancholy Liz.

  7. Laura Shovan says:

    The middle section of this poem is so much fun:
    “Her leaves sparkled
    like the bells on a belly dancer’s belt.
    She shimmied like she was on fire.
    The whole place was shaking”
    I’m picturing an older lady who loves to have a good time.

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