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.



Poem by William Rumelhart

Art by Zoë Mazurkiewicz

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