Honest Work

Published in Twisted Ink Webzine ~ Spring 2010

Hold
Cough after the hit
Let smoke trickle
Burn
Down ur throat
Watch
The tough man
You have known since eight
Nod in approval
Feel the old Ford straddle
Ruts in abused dirt road
Feel poles
That were trees
An hour ago
Shift & grind
Against each other
In the bed behind
Stop
When you see
Another straight one
Listen
Chainsaw’s roar
Followed
By the crash
Wood against ground
Red needles hurry downward
Step in to drag the fallen one
To join its brothers in the pile
While he looks for another
Cussing the chainsaw that
Sputters
Dies
Refuses to be revived
At 3 it has been a long day of trees
Sawdust & spikes
Hammers & wire
Curses & rock that
Won’t let a single fucking post pound straight
Crawl back in
The Root Beer beast
With a grab
He doesn’t even
Notice
Because he is so used to it
Shimmy
Through the back window
Lean out
Across the spare tire & the chain saw
Reach into the necessary cooler
While he heads down the road
Avoid
Bouncing jab of
Poles
Once trees
Now intended for hitch racks
Or fence braces
Or posts
Pull the two frosties
From
Icy depths
Slide back through
Window’s opening
Leaving
A layer of hide
& a curse
Behind
Pop the caps
With the ease of
Summer practice
Drop them below
Where
Thousands of
.17 shells
Jingle across the floorboards
With empty bottles
Lean against the door
So that the wind coming through
The rolled down window
Can dry
The sweat & dirt
That formulates mud
On battered hide
Accept the fact
There are another
6 hours of light
Left before the 15 hour day
Is done
For some unreasonable reason that makes you smile.

© Kaitlin Ens

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