Saturday, April 07, 2007
Bald for the past two or three years,
a constant creak and clatter overhead,
the old mimosa taught us a certain fear
of heavy weather, an encroaching dread
of anvils in the west, of summer lows,
taught us the frailty of roofer’s slate.
The neighbors all agreed: it had to go.
One had a two-man saw to inaugurate.
Mill-bright from its rec-room wall,
the six foot grin of edges sighed
into the bark with hardly a sound at all,
less than the inspirations we supplied.
But older winters sang to the new spring:
we bowed a double bass adagio
until we touched a fundamental string
that parted squawking like a wounded crow.
The heartwood fought, bit the steel
in a kerf as wide open as before,
and my heart at its desk began to feel
counterstrokes aimed from the sticky core;
we traded teeth for splinters in the chest.
I was spent when it began to lean,
fell with it, waiting for arrest.
Within a week the stump was shot with green.