I watch my mother’s ashes
catch the air, scatter and dust
the bark of the sugar maple
she and my father planted
the year before he died.

Come spring I will press bit
and brace against its trunk,
set the tap, hang the bucket
and listen for her voice
in the steady drip of sap.

Gallons of it will
foam and froth
in the evaporator pan
before becoming
the amber of a mason jar.

And what will she say
over morning pancakes,
Sunday’s glazed ham
or from the bottom
of my hot buttered rum?

Poem by Jane L. Wheeler

I live with my husband on a hobby farm in Michigan with several dogs, cats, horses and a snake.