A man builds a house around a fire,
rocks and hearth upon the earth—
cuts wood to feed it, to stand close
to the flame when cold to the bone—
a luxury: he gets in touch
with the basics, with the tree.
Sometimes he says a little prayer
for the century felled or fallen,
or nods to hardwood cores intact
all his long life, stacking brush
for quail, cleaning up for grass
and cattle, like we’ve never been here.