Monday, February 3, 2014

Poem for a Monday

Last week's "Take Heart" poem is by a former classmate and fellow Mainer, Douglas Woodsum.  I remember Doug back-in-the-day, when we were 20-somethings gathered around the long, oval table of our college creative writing seminar.  It's been such a delight to read his wonderful poems through the years since then.

Doug lives, writes and teaches from his home in Smithfield, Maine.  Like last week's Subaru poem, this one could have been lifted from a page out of my own life.

Splitting Wood in Winter
by Douglas Woodsum

You'll need a barn with a big door, the old-
fashioned kind that hangs on wheels, slides open
Down a track. You'll need a bare bulb, the sun
having sunk before your return from work.
You'll need a splitting maul (the ax always
gets stuck), a medieval weapon perfect
for pillaging heat from the heart of hardwood.
You can plug in the portable radio
or just listen to the hush of the swing
then thwack ... or thoonk, the soft clinks or cloonks
of the splits falling from the chopping block
onto the old, thick, scarred floorboards of the barn
You'll need your hands to rip apart pieces
still connected by strips of unsplit wood.
You'll need to load the canvas carrier
thrice, enough to survive the dead of night.
You won't need reminding, "Splitting wood
warms you twice: once chopping it, once burning it."
You'll smile, walking through the cold, back to the house,
your hot breath a harbinger of wood smoke.

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