Bodies Stacked Like Cordwood
After the tree’s felled, we’re left with the body,
a life of seasons become dead weight.
The neighbors return to their own concerns—
foremost, what to do for privacy now
that we can see into each other’s bedrooms.
What to do with boughs that no longer tell
the day’s mood? Like the country itself,
the family is of two minds—half say
let it rot in place, let nature work. The others
say cut it up with chippers and chainsaws.
I waffle, imagining bright beds
but wanting to rest awhile with the corpse,
with the purple climbing rope grown deep
into bark, with the single step
that remains from an unbuilt fort.
More than eighty years, say the rings.
I press my hand to the cut, to sides
green with moss and nightshade.
A squirrel on the fence joins my silence.
What has happened to home?
Devon Balwit writes, teaches, and takes daily walks in Portland, Oregon. Her poems can be found in The Worcester Review, The Cincinnati Review, Tampa Review, Rattle, Apt (long form issue), Tar River Poetry, Poetry South, saltfront, and Grist, among others. For more of her work, please visit her website.