I wish to become an ancient maple like the grande dames that stand like wise sentinels along Hapenny Road, my street here in Peacham Vermont. If this wish is impossible, I want to sink deep inside a hollow belly, squeeze next to an exposed maple heart or merge along a downed log, mingling myself within this natural kinship. I recognize the knurls, and rough-hewn skin in my own hands and face. I want to be inside them and paint them.