Next to the tool shed dries a
growing stack of fragrant wood
full of stories just waiting for
cooler nights and bonfires.
For years the logs and limbs
saved aside from our tree work
told stories of my own white knuckles
tightly squeezing the pull ropes
while chain saws screamed
through the last cut and tall trees began to crack and barrel toward the earth and the people I love.
Always I was there,
hands on the ropes.
I felt better that way.
Closer to the pencil…..quick to tweak the story.
This year’s pile is a wonder to me.
I don’t know this wood.
It tells their stories…..the wild adventures of sons become men.
I still love the loud crack and splinter as fibers yield to gravity and the tug of the ropes.
And the thundering thud that shakes the ground and erupts with smells of Christmastime
and crisp moonlit nights.
And I’ll still toast my toes by dancing flames as the fire pops and flickers
and smile at the aliveness as their stories flow like ale from their mugs
overflowing with the stuff of life in the wildwoods.
But now I’ll lean back and slowly savor the tang of my own story silently singing
from fresh stretch marks on my heart
of fewer fingerprints,
and ropes released
as I let go
and get out of the way
….trusting them into hands that are bigger and stronger than mine.