Stacking Wood
by Ralph Monday

Like Prufrock with his spoons,
I measure out my life in daily random
ways—today stacking wood.

There are ghost hands in each piece of
lumber that guide my own as I level &
stack the wood to dry.

Gnarled hands as grainy as the rising
maple, tough & calloused & brutally

The same hands that taught me to split
& make architecture of winter
wood that will see next season’s fire.

Those limbs lie beneath Lebanon
cedars in a far mountain graveyard
where the wind whispers through the hollers.

He measured out his life through eggs,
cows, coal, milk, five sons, five daughters, a
few dogs & sun after setting sun.

Like the sun settling now into a western
Naples yellow that in the morning will bring
coffee & spoons.

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