Chain saw heavier, I cut arms
off skeletons littering pastures
and canyons after years of drought,
a battleground where old oaks lost
touch with water—most barkless now
tipped-over or in tangled piles
beneath authoritative trunks
begging purpose, begging cremation
or stacked close to the woodstove.
Old habits and rituals finally slow
as the limbs grow heavier despite
the pleading of the heartwood.