Thursday, September 2, 2010

Autumn Work

A cool Autumn sun slants through the trees, my evergreens
their smells of sap and life still rising in the air around me.
The kids are at school and the woods left quiet,
embracing me in a solitude for once not lonely or empty
but peaceful and still, bidding silent welcome.

I break the silence with the sound and sweat of work:
honest, loud, joyous labor
of chainsaw and tractor, arms and back.
Cutting dead trees free from their silent sentry stands.
Watching, hearing, feeling each dusky thump as they fall.

Then bending over each to notch five times,
for later cutting into fire logs, then splitting, then stacking.
Then cutting the five-length logs to length, and notching the next,
The roaring saw and I dancing a duo in the brush,
two old work companions working together,
notch after notch, log after log.

I heave the seven foot logs onto the waiting loader forks,
their long-dead wood clunking with a nice dry ring
that promises hot fires and warm nights
through the oncoming winter,
which peeks at me through the slanted light and cooling air,
and in the stillness of absent children's voices,
but can wait a little while yet
while I seize and enjoy
this and now.

—September 2, 2010; reposted on
Facebook, August 2012