This is lovely Andrea. I love the sense of loneliness and self-acceptance. I have a few minor criticisms in the main body of the poem:
and nothing left to give but her
sorrowful smile that sings sadness
upon her soul that will never stop
singing with the birds;’
I think edgy is an odd choice of adjective, a little unfitting. Maybe it’s the connotations that this word has with me. I think ‘a sorrowful’ is a little more effective than ‘her sorrowful’. The pronoun is a bit superfluous? You also repeat ‘sing’ twice, and I feel you could’ve used a stronger verb to replace the first? I can’t imagine a smile singing sadness upon a soul? It’s very overly worded, and prepositionally off compared to the rest of the poem.
‘crickets dance upon her shoulders
while moss adorns her like a cloak’
The title made me feel really bad, I am not sure why. When someone is beyond hysterical laughter, it is very exhausting to the body and also emotionally. The person becomes numb, or if I could want to make a word for that state.
Maples poem describe what surrounds the old hysterical laughing oak tree. And how she can’t be as fruitful as she used to. Everything surrounding her is beautiful, the singing birds, the dancing crickets, the moss and dandelion. She is ready to flow along with life. But she forgot how beautiful and special she is., and her heart that until her last breath is willing to give back.
What I found sad and connecting to the state that follows the hysterical laughter, is that the old oak has forgotten what she was like before she stated “laughing”.
This is a really deep poem!!