the old Manitoba maple is a flutter of birds
chirping, growing wings.
it doesn’t talk much, just nods
waiting for the next word to fall
out of your mind and onto the page.
it spreads its arms wide, reaching out
in shimmers of green and silver,
and long-lost memories of days gone by;
the day Matthew learned to climb,
disappeared into the thicket of its arms
to find a perfect spot to watch the world go by.
it holds a white swing on a limb
built by a woman for her young son,
so he doesn’t forget to dream.
every now and again moonlight will catch
a passer-by—a dreamer, a midnight swinger—a child;
laughter clinging in the quiet of night’s air.
Copyright © Rita Bouvier. Originally published in nakamowin.sa for the seasons (Thistledown Press, 2015) and also appears in Heartwood: Poems for the Love of Trees (League of Canadian Poets, 2018).
Rita Bouvier is the author of three collections of poetry and a children’s book. Her third collection of poetry nakomowin’sa for the seasons (Thistledown Press, 2015) was the 2016 Sask Book Awards winner of the Rasmussen, Rasmussen & Charowsky Aboriginal Peoples’ Writing Award.