We play games beneath the firs,
among the hornet and bird buzz,
a search in the low grass for perfect
sticks upon which to whittle
where blackened pine fingers reach
for a ready tea kettle full of awake.
Old leaves wrestle with the sod
in soft voice, but I refuse to leave
my camp chair. The world is full
of sharp corners. I’m safer here,
watching you stack apple wood
in the fire, holding a broken hatchet.
You’re as old as I remember being,
finding your footing in the forest,
to bend your knees as you chop;
avoid the scars as long as possible.
© Trapper Markelz 2020
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