The squirrels claw and climb the maple.
I rarely spot one in the madrone.
The maple provides them with many seeds,
broad leaves to linger under,
trunks and branches whose skin is thick
enough to dig into and hold on.
A young maple grows outside of my front window.
I greet her daily,
baby talk the squirrel in her branches,
awe at the hummingbird that takes cover among her leaves.
Down her trunk I run my hands
over rough knots, smooth lines and lime green
moss like unwanted hair
in the branch forks.
On the other side of the street
the madrone stands fabulously alone.
Nothing wild approaches her branches.
Nothing looks for reprieve under her sleek leaves.
I run my hands along her smooth trunk,
trace her paper skin curls with my fingers
draw in her sweet warm fragrance.
I stand with them often, wanting
my roughness to turn smooth,
to display curls instead of moss.
I also want
the squirrel and
Under the maple and the madrone
I can be me.
All three of us breathe the same breath.
By Keri Hakan
Keri Hakan proudly lives, loves and writes in Portland, Oregon. She was born and raised in Missouri. She holds a B.A. in English , a minor in Philosophy and is a certified Holistic Nutritionist. She was published in the Spring 2019 edition of Windfall A Journal of Poetry of Place and has been published in three editions of Tiny Seed Literary Journal