Think of the effort it takes
to fell a tree, your forearms trembling
with each thwack of the axe.
Think of the terror in the tree’s
spine, how it (if it could) would cry
out, the way lynchings & chambers
made men & women cry
out, their babies smart enough to know.
Think of the rings of the tree
unlinked, taken from their sap,
sawed, sanded by the belt, shaped to become
dead lumber. Think of the sin. If one
thousand dwellings were lost
to warm your home in winter, think
of the snow upon the
corpses, the fallacy of a family.
Think of the honest
uses of wood: rocking chairs, kitchen
tables, newspapers, books.
Think of the misuses: the handle
of an axe, the Cross. Today,
the gazette was aflame with a photo:
a field at night emblazoned with
your crooked pinwheel of war:
a doused tree disjointed, lashed, lit by
militants — fangs blazing with the
fury of timber’s red tantrum.
Cameron Lovejoy is a bookbinder, dancer, and poet. He grew up in Carolina but hit the road at 17. For ten years, he tramped the planet, realizing quickly how many stories he had to tell, and wrote furiously. New Orleans adopted him in early 2017, where he now resides, sweaty and content. He’s the founder of Tilted House, a micro-press geared towards publishing small patches of handbound books. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Incandescent, Boned, and Scarlet Leaf Review.
Photo by Mohamed Nohassi.