trunk split low, contorted, crusted
with furry blue-green lichens sprouting  

powdery gray multi-petaled blooms.
The tree’s crown a riot of 7-lobed  

scarlet leaves—licks of flame, fallen stars,
spread fingers. When I align my hand  

against a leaf, the foliage sparks, morphs
into hands. Open human hands of passed   

loved ones—parents, husbands, friends,
ancestors further & further back in time—

history unfolding.     

~ Inspired by Kyosuke Tchinaï’s Maple, Autumn’s Ornaments