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False Notions Fears And Other Things Of Wood

 Repeatedly, that sturdy stump in me
bears up like stone,
beneath some ritual I see:
the blinding axe
swings up, holds,
that moment of its weightlessness
till I confirm the arm is mine;
I will it, grip,
feel moist the swelling handle,
the shudder rude,
the difference fallen.
Toward that chopping block I carry in me woodthings— infectious undergrowth pretending upwards through each stem and branch of me— all so certain of themselves they practice, like pains, the craft of being.
They try to wrench away before we reach that stump, my woodthings and I, they weakening in its brightness, in my luminous saying "I must go, must go to the chopping block.
" They know the brutal business of my thinking; I know they have no charity nor memory to return the way they came— came not from wilderness, nor forest, nor living trees.
Their craft and strength I test— and mine— at the chopping block.

by James A Emanuel
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