For two years the oak
loomed, leafless.
We had aged
together, but somehow
I survived the drought
and ice storms, the
regret and wilt,
the explosions within,
and it did not.

I do not know
the rituals of trees,
how they mourn
a passing, or if
the sighs I hear
betray only my own
frailties, but even
as I fuel the saw and
tighten the chain,
I look carefully
for new growth.


chain saw

“Firewood” is included in my chapbook, From Every Moment a Second.


12 thoughts on “Firewood

  1. A mourning of what-was … I felt this when taking down the maple tree by my driveway (which outlived its life expectancy, according to the arborist) … and I get anticipatory mourning vibes often when under my live-oak spread: a multi-trunked mass that survived oak wilt – perhaps a multi-lived being? Survival did not come w/o significant sacrifice of sustaining fluid movement. Now each year a bit more of the upper extremities die to drop on windy days. I hug the survivor trunks and look at the fallen bits as symbolic of my own aging/declining (albeit I’ve yet to litter the ground …)

    Liked by 1 person

    • We lost quite a few oaks from the drought and following freezes out on our rural property. Others lost most of their larger limbs, but they’ve sprouted newer ones. I remain hopeful about these. Still, it’s very sad to cut them down.

      Liked by 1 person

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