I told him to hire Amish loggers
Because their horses pull
Heavy logs and stumps
Not like machinery
Or skids that ravish
The forest floor.
These stout men
Read the trees,
With their loyal Bucephalus
Cutting and clearing side-by-side.
“Ya ya yaa, gee up”
Horses billowing breath
Hooves precariously slip sliding in mud.
The forester’s horses were named
Moonlight, Midnight, and Adam.
Years later you decided to trim
That one thick branch overhanging
The pine decking.
With your chainsaw hungrily
Growling into the resistant lateral,
With an engineer’s geometry,
By all dead reckoning,
The branch should have fallen
You and I escaped into heartwood—
Only the beating heart of the felled tree.
Katherine V. Wills (Katerina Tsiopos) is an English professor at Indiana University/Purdue University, Columbus, In. Her poetry has been published previously in Flying Island and she has worked with Reservoir Dogwood Poets and many south central Indiana writers.
Image via: Vergara, Camilo J, photographer. Forest. [Between 2000 and 2019] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2020704781/>.