The Axeman

An October dullness
Beads the air
As the woodsman cuts -
Ringing out into quiet wood
Surrounding him, trees rustle
And quiver as the beating
Strikes the ground, beading
His brow with sweat 
Running down his face
And concentration in his wide, blue eyes
As the weal widens,
Pale sore
In the side of warm brown bark,
Widening sore
Clipped and smarting,
Deep V-cut in the
Living wood -
One heave of boot -
The canopy sways 
Shuddering as it is
Splintering and crackling,
Roughly rended, pained
Screams of wood and the
Tree felled
In a thud of dust rising ...
O bright thing killed and lying
O bright light culled.
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