I’m a bit creaky in the bones but continue to work in the building trades: carpenter, plumber, electrician. Nights, I write. Working with the hands feeds the head. joecottonwood.com
Autopsy of a Douglas Fir
In your bleeding cross-section I count
three centuries of wooden wisdom
since that mother cone dropped
on soil no one owned.
Black bears scratched backs
against your young bark. Ohlone
passed peacefully on their path
to the waters of La Honda Creek.
In my lifetime you groaned.
Your bark filled with beetles.
Woodpeckers drilled, feasted.
Needles, whole limbs,
you shed your clothes,
stood naked. I cut your flesh.
You walloped the earth, creating a trench
two hundred feet long where you lie.
As you fell in your fury
you destroyed my tomatoes,
smashed the daffodils,
snapped a dogwood.
Better you crush my garden than my house
which did not exist nor any of this town
when you first advanced one tender green.
I want to believe the sawtooth less cruel
than another winter of storms.
All good fathers must fall.
Your children surround you,
waving, blocking the light.
My children count rings,
hands sticky with sap.
© 2017 Joe Cottonwood
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