Thursday, November 22, 2012



Most every day in the fall, and the same in winter and muddy spring
I tramp our woodlot path with canvas satchels and bring home
From my hike two full satchels filled with new cut firewood

We have plenty of dry firewood back at home
In fact 22 cords at last count
Stacked around the dooryard and in the big woodshed

It isn't more wood we need — it's taking the hike, often twice a day
And tending to the day, fetching fuel to keep a house warm
Which makes one know how one keeps a house warm, one's self warm

The woods are down with leaves

It takes pulling to climb the hills
The satchels are dirty and old

A few days ago I dropped a dead and very sound white ash tree

Hurricane Sandy had taken down half the tree, and I finished the job
Bucked and split on site, on a side hill, my companion and I tossed

The split logs down the hill twice and stacked the wood by our path

Each day as we pass we bring our satchels and fill up —
This work makes me think of dozens of other things instead of wood

While holding wood I think of a mother, a sister gone, what a son is doing

How ill friends are faring, children dying in Gaza
When will it snow?

I think of those others who have been very troubling, and it's increasing

Twenty years ago there were none of these same troubles
Twenty, thirty, forty years ago there was this path

 [ BA ]