He looked up from loading the tools back into his truck and saw in the bare yard, the old Maple, left for shade when the lot had been cleared.
In the heat, exhausted from the day, he saw the tree, not as beautiful, as he once would have, but as a big, dumb, thing. A thing on which his thoughts were wasted, his time. A thing that, like the farmers and deadbeats, who, on good days he called neighbors, offered him only blank stares when he spoke of his desires. A thing that, in its inability to give, had unknowingly stolen from him the brightness of his words. Everything in this place had become an enemy.