Words and photo by Mark Renz

Tough beauty

I am drawn to swamp maples
especially in winter
when they refresh Webster's
definition of red
I envy the way they stand their ground
at the edge of a marsh
even though the soil is wet and mooshy
I love how they never complain of harsh winds
and pounding rains
Or scorching days with little shade
and icy nights void of light
They seem content with humble roots
flexible trunks
and resilient but tender leaves
Is it any wonder I am accused
of hugging trees?