The Chainsaw (#47)

Gentle, where the chainsaw
Gouges the bark,
Throwing thick chips,
Ripping life asunder.

I work in the cool
December light
To clear the year.
Saplings sprung from pasture,

So much life! There’s
Nothing somnolent about
The saw, no effete snoring,
This hungry, smoking bastard.

I grip it tenderly,
Felling a black cherry,
A box elder maple,
A fork-branched mulberry.

How much to do
On a winter afternoon?
The saw gutters, grumbling,
Its silver chain sweetly oiled.

These trees will all be back—
Here, there, in that distant field.
New Years, it seems,
Is rarely ever so far.

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