We were bored.
and the cedar was just another tree to us
as we started to chop it.
Sap dribbled and dripped from the gaping wound…
like blood which spurted from my own gash a few days later.
The cedar groaned and creaked in its falling.
We had to count the rings to find the age.
and it was as the clawing of the sweet white meat of a clean old lady.
The barkskin was gnarled and grey, twisted into a lattice,
and, in places,
patched with a sickly green lichen.
A hundred years this tree had fought for its place by the lake.
Climbing and twisting and feeding
on the dying and rotting carcasses of old neighbours.
Struggling with balsam and spruce and pine.
cut down for fun.
Brett Lake, Ontario; June 1970