Monday, January 6

you could learn a lot splitting firewood
although i'm not sure that i ever did

things about balance, heft, and precision
how to lift and carry and stack
how to read the grain of a log
the qualities of wood
and by extension of trees:
endless variation in cottonwood, ash,
maple, mulberry, walnut, and cedar

wet, green, dry, rotten, punky, rock hard,
straightgrained, gnarled, knotted, bugeaten, and just flat stubborn
all transmitted in the shock that runs up the handle
the resounding crack, chunk, thud,
the ringing denial of a piece so hard
something really should have shattered.

things about patience.

i don't think i ever paid the attention
these things were due

still, trying to show heather how

(swing the maul high from the center of your body,
space your hands well apart on the handle,
then bring them together at the end as you start the downswing
let gravity do the work
it's simple, but trying to explain
makes it complicated)

seems like i must have learned something.