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.


10 thoughts on “Firewood

  1. Love this both metaphorically and literally, Bob. I, too, am reluctant to concede a tree’s death, and so continue to look for signs of life — which may, indeed, appear long after apparent demise. We can only hope the same is true of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Life for tree or human is a series of confrontations with circumstance and environment … a mystery what is survived, what proves fuel for growth, what relevance lingers beyond life …
    This is one of my favorite Okaji poems – reading it again today I’m chuckling at my reluctance to cut down the very dead (severed from its roots a few years back) hackberry protruding 2+ feet above the 7-ft honeysuckle-laden chain-link fence. On one hand, that hackberry is an eye-sore to be PhotoShopped out of pics of the honeysuckle; on the other hand, birds of all sorts love pausing on the forked protrusion, perfect perch for a yard-wide scan. Just yesterday I stared at it again … considered getting the stepladder and pruning … didn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.