Maple Memoir - Jeremy J. Sutton

for Lisa

Mature maples
line both sides
of 21st avenue.
Beneath rustling leaves
we pencil hash marks
in pocket notebooks,
tallying broken limbs,
scrapes, gouges.
Four vertical lines
followed by diagonal slash
row after row
page after page
day after day.
Meanwhile corky bark calluses,
sealing open wounds.
Long-fingered leaves
yellow the canopy
as elder maples
make ready
for winter.

Jeremy J. Sutton is a San Franciscan. At age thirteen, he wrote his first poem to comfort his cousin. He continued to write into his twenties but, as his responsibilities grew, he wrote less and less.

During his hiatus from poetry, Jeremy married, fathered two children, adopted five dogs, lived in three states, and ended his career in marketing to become a high school English teacher. Twenty-five years later, Jeremy is writing poetry again and was first published in The Eunoia Review in 2020.

Jeremy teaches American Literature to 11th graders and chairs the English department at a large, urban, public high school. He lives in Oakland, California with his wife, two children, and puppy. He is an amateur photographer who never stopped shooting film. He volunteers his time to Scouts BSA. Jeremy believes the secret to happiness is to serve others.