Friday, December 20, 2013

David Budbill: "Into the Winter Woods"

Long-johns top and bottom, heavy socks, flannel shirt, overalls,

steel-toed work boots, sweater, canvas coat, toque, mittens: on.

Out past grape arbor and garden shed, into the woods.

Sun just coming through the trees. There really is such a thing

as Homer's rosy-fingered dawn. And here it is, this morning.

Down hill, across brook, up hill, and into the stand of white pine

and red maple where I'm cutting firewood. Open up workbox,

take out chain saw, gas, bar oil, kneel down, gas up saw, add

bar oil to the reservoir, stand up, mittens off, strap on and buckle

chaps from waist to toe, hard hat helmet: on. Ear protectors: down,

face screen: down, push in compression release, pull out choke,

pull on starter cord, once, twice, go. Stall. Pull out choke, pull on

starter cord, once, twice, go. Push in choke. Mittens: back on.

Cloud of two-cycle exhaust smoke wafting into the morning air

and I, looking like a medieval Japanese warrior, wade through

blue smoke, knee-deep snow, revving the chain saw as I go,

headed for that doomed, unknowing maple tree.

"Into the Winter Woods" by David Budbill, from Happy Life. © Copper Canyon Press, 2011.

Photography credit: Untitled image by unknown photographer, found at this link (originally color).


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