O, The Maple Loveliness

On a cheesecloth foray for the 12-year-old and her friend (a must have for making mummy luminaries), the kids and I stand in a parking lot, and I point out a maple tree across Route 15. More or less, the foliage is finished around us now, but this mature maple had gold at the crown sprinkled down to green at its lower branches.

We were in one of the uglier areas of town, swampy, with a gas station/liquor store, a depressing Dollar Store, some rundown houses and trailers. The tree, however, was so exquisite that my daughter’s friend remarked it appeared to be pruned. We laughed at that  thought – as if a ladder could scale this great beauty, as if human hands might shape this natural perfection.

Across the cemetery is another lovely maple; down Spring Street are the silver maple gems…. and on and on…. And if you’re in Montpelier, admire the maples on the library’s lawn.

Her teacher’s certainty it must be Mabel
Made Maple first take notice of her name.
She asked her father and he told her, “Maple—
Maple is right.”…

From Robert Frost’s “Maple”


By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

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