fetching the firewood

all through the sogginess of winter
with the water high
above my heels
I carted the rounds of sliced timber

knotted rotten or smooth
I moved them
load upon load

once
into the barrow
once
into the cart
once more
into the barrow
then last
into a pile
a bloody great big pile
of a former tree
that I could hardly stand
to look at
anymore

filled
with witchety grubs
overflowing
white ants
acrawl
with slater bugs
and centipedes

some geckoes

and now
the weather smiling
and the ground firm
under my feet again
I take my splitting tool in hand
to separate each round
into component firewood

each round
into a sweet sigh
when it’s cold out

yes it’s true
what my father told me
those years ago

that wood
my son
that wood is going to warm you
five times
before it’s gone

but by my count
it’s six


© Frank Prem, 2016

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6 thoughts on “fetching the firewood

  1. As someone who would have to haul and stack and load 10 cords of wood up a slight enough hill, then do some splitting of “bigger than the stove” pieces, just to heat the house (or try) from November through March, I can so understand. Back breaking work!

    Well captured – and yes, warmed over many times.

    Liked by 1 person

    • and you try to tell young people these days, but they won’t believe you!

      I actually enjoy splitting the wood (in small doses) and with Leanne as my wood fetching buddy it all worked pretty well this year. Generally, though, like everyone these days, we buy it already split.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ah, the bane of manual labour to the youth who have never lifted anything heavier than a mobile phone or remote!

        Having a buddy system helps alot – even if it’s just someone to yell “break” and offer you something to drink! But, as they say, waste not want not, so to be able to use what is available is not so bad … just lots of work.

        Liked by 1 person

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