axeman: good for another

he leans against a post
at the corner of the stack
while he takes a blow

the sweat runs easy
and his breath comes hard
he’s been swinging
to a rhythm

and round after round
has fallen at his feet
new opened
with the wood
glowing pink
and the pile that he’s chopped
getting bigger

and the pile
beside him
of the rounds still to cut
showing smaller

he re-lives
as he catches
at his straining breath
every blow
that flew sideways
from a narrow grab of wood

every blow
that stuck fast
because he caught the round
too near the center

too much
or too little
he’s bashing his way
from outside to in

and as his breath
grows easy
he knows that he’s good
for another round

and another round


© Frank Prem, 2017

November 2017 Poem #27: of the sun

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