Monday, January 16, 2017



In slush of the laundromat

Parking lot, stepping

Down out of his old truck

Rubbing a big hand across

His whiskered jaw, we

Have known one another

A few seconds as I

Load three sacks of

Clean laundry into the

Trunk while he quickly

Sizes the Dodge up and

Down, glancing at mud

High on the doors, sipping

The warm sun on his

Face and the spring

Feeling he gets that

Makes him have to say

To anyone who will listen —

Bet the trees are pissing today

Wood For Water

How come this night

You wash in a pan

A shallow draw of stream water

Spilled down from wild apples

Of the mountain, where deer

Browse, make trail

Leave droppings

Hand over hand, you may

Think of it this way, or

Water that simply flows

Spreading into a sound of peepers

Where I’ve entered

Truck low geared

Flushing every redwing

From trees we were to clear

Blackberries grew then

Tickling stone walls

While working in the heat, high boots

Rolled pants

Many came apart wet in my hands —

Couldn’t save any, not even for you

That was a half year ago —

Now dead wood dropped, hauled, split

Chickadees perch closely, fluttering pine

There is firewood to stack dry

Someplace through winter

At night you bathe cold, cold water

Heated warm —

When you dress you forget underwear

And the thin white blouse —

Just a dress, sleeveless and red

How To Make A Decision

This morning very early

Thinking to catch a logger

At home and knowing full

Well he would be deer

Hunting I called anyway

And receiving his wife

On the line who was not

At all helpful or friendly

I decided to call another

Logger who was off deer

Hunting but his wife was

Forthright and clear and

Honest and I decided to

Buy logs from her man


Leaf hangs

To one beat-up

                                                                                      Sawmill log


Bob Arnold
Once In Vermont