Poem by Branda C. Maholtz–
Along with the house, we bought a small yard
and a single sugar maple tree, the largest on the block.
The tree continues to grow, not its width and height, but in significance—
it leans towards us; we reach toward it.
I’ve watched the tree bend and take on legs during a storm,
afraid it would come forth and step into the house.
I’ve watched this tree in fast-forward, from stick to buds to slick green leaves in held-out hands for rain.
This maple, under which you might find our devote dog, Maybeline,
eyes up through the boughs tracking squirrels or birds—
this tree takes inventory and guards what is hers.
In Hudson, the twilight is the most glorious blue,
a cerulean sky meant only for the now.
The yard is dark except for the tree—
lit from within, the alley street light makes it glow from the center:
a fire opal; a Magritte painting come to life.
After a season of full sun, there is a hesitation, there is moment of:
Yes, I know I should. I know I need to,
but first let me sing, let me shine from within
and allow the wind to caress and tease the leaves from my branches.
Hold on, I’m just not ready yet.
Branda C. Maholtz graduated with a MFA in creative writing from Syracuse University in 2003. She has published work in Chronogram, and various online literary journals including nanomajority and 5_trope. Branda resides in Hudson, NY.
A native of the Pittsburgh, PA area, Branda Maholtz fell in love with Upstate life while completing her MFA at Syracuse University. She has taught English and creative writing courses at various universities until moving to New York City for an Acquisitions Editor position at Penguin Group. A resident of Hudson since 2010, Branda has focused on community outreach and business development in various roles at various places including Etsy, Inc. the Hudson Opera House, Hudson Development Corporation, and the City of Hudson.