A dense bluff of silver maples grew behind our house. I’d scamper as quietly as I could in the early evenings that last summer before Dad died. He’d come home half in the bag and Mom would lay into him. My favorite tree stood a good twenty yards in the grove. I couldn’t climb it directly; the branches were too high. I’d hoist myself up the adjacent spruce and work my way over to a nook where I could watch my house. Some nights, I’d shiver as it grew damp and even when it rained, I dared not go back home until the kitchen light went out.