The Woodcutter

I can picture the woodcutter in
the crisp autumn air.
He is neither young nor elderly,
weary nor exhilarated,
simply lost in the precise rhythm
of a task ingrained.
It seems the axe and he are one.

I can see Dad in that armchair,
mostly skin and bone,
close to a blazing fireplace in
the winter of his days.
Though the room is sweltering,
from October to May
he wears long johns beneath.

I still recall the stockpiles we
children helped to stack.
That assembly line of siblings
after a Sunday dinner,
passing wood into the cellar.
In September’s warmth,
those cubits seemed excessive.

I cannot forget how Dad always
called for another load,
even when too frail to take part.
After all, that old man,
dozing through his final seasons,
remained a woodcutter
strong enough to fuel our house.

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