An Early Winter

an acrid odor,

a crunching of leaves:


a lumber truck lurches

through the forest.


it stops in a clearing 

covered with the stumps 


and rotting trunks

of felled oaks. 


a chainsaw growls

and the last oak standing


quivers, pleads. 


a nearby willow, left

for its weak wood, 


holds its breath.


the saw teeth slice 

the oak in two,  


and the last trunk

falls from its stump. 


the willow weeps

its branches bare,


forsaken, frosting,


in this biting winter 

come early.

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