The Lumberjack’s Return

This is the point of the yellow-green crayon-
the grass of this light, not too bright clearing,
the trees circled ‘round like an audience
or perfect fence, this somehow bigger than recalled
but still small enough to cradle us,
place of our memories.

Still, with the hunch in my shoulders I sense
a peripheral silence. Sure enough,
with a glance to the left, in the waterfall I find
a spirit of foreboding gazing on.
Who is this intruder that passed from the cave?
When did she draw the tumbling stream’s
true soul inside?

Now the once-chiming stream, like an old, grey hag, drapes
her self-assured wrist across the cliff, her skin shifting
to a too thin, sagging cloak for those jagged
bones called fingers with their double-jointed tips.

Abusing the spiral staircase and the regal stream itself,
the hag like crippled lightning curves her fingers back and forth,
trusting upside-down and into her herself over deigning to dance
and turn with the walls on the rocks’ wide plains.

She withers in a powerful way, so that rather than on
the onward flow of the waters she’s possessed,
all your focus falls on the point of her too-long nails driving down.
Yet it is by these nails that I am shuddered out of near reverie,

for down, down, down drive the nails surrounding me,
and I remember that now is not the time to guard against
twisted faeries- Today we return to lumber work,
to feel new aches as carpenters, and build the best coffin we can
to cradle the colleague we must, for the first, work without.

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