Ode to Acer rubrum

To the One in My Yard

I don’t mean to be crass
But I raked near a ton of your biomass (off of my grass)
At that yellow scarlet time of year

Now I can see all of your bones
And the squirrels in their treetop homes
It is your genius that lets winter’s solar gains
Spill through my southeast window panes
But on a hot summer Commonwealth day
You shield those panes from the rays
For this alone, you have my affections
I relish your love and protections






To Those in the Swamp

Photo: D. Hirschman

Went off for a little nature communion
And ran into an Acer family reunion
Acer’s kith and kin all around
Sprouting saplings from the soggy ground
My boots go squish and I must admit
Acer’s as happy as a pig in —-








Photo: D. Hirschman


To the Intrepid Ones On the Mountain

We’re far above the swamp I fear
So what are you doing way up here?
Taproot clinging to the mountain ground
Winter winds howling all around
In Spring, samaras helicopter from the mountain spine
Landing far beyond the county line
Your tenacity is beyond opprobrium
Jonathan Livingston Acer rubrum



One of My Favorites

Photo: D. Hirschman

Among the many dendrons
Your are one of my favorite ones
You are trustworthy and usually sober
Except for a few weeks in late October
When you appear to be quite drunk
With scarlet swirling about your trunk
“This autumn show really takes the cake”
I say, smiling, reaching for my rake




David J. Hirschman, January 2020

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Please share!


  1. Rick

    Hey Dave, thanks for this. That one in your yard is a real character.
    I’ve got trees on my mind a lot these days, in part because of a book I’m reading, called The Overstory. Haven’t finished it yet so not sure how it ends, but a lot of thought provoking about trees and us.

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