hair a flutter of
Mama says, What? goes outside and splits oak.
She brings the rope, chainsaw, and spikes—ties off
A limb. She takes the black tree down. The trunk
Breeds red heart rot.
It’s too easy to say
It bleeds. Inside, the ombre fades from bark
To tan to thin white threads. Branches die-back.
The wood spews conk. The kindling leaves dark ash.
As unsound as a forest is, someone
Must slip and feel it. Someone sticks the dead.
The lightning bugs thud in their Smucker’s jars.
Some mother, at the screen, must call, Light’s out.