ThinkstockPhotos-664174700.jpgChain Saw was ready to quit,
So many years of grueling labor.
“Too much.”

Woodsman, his owner,
Always willing to hear him out,
Didn’t agree on this one.
“The work never ends, must be done.
Winter’s coming on.”

That said,
And their friendship overshadowed
By the need for winter survival,
Woodsman pulled the cord.
Chain Saw sputtered, (should have been a clue)
Sputtered again, then with a burst of final energy
Roared into action.

Less concerned with the ailing machine’s
State of health and well-being,
Hell-bent on perfectly felling the mighty oak,
Woodsman placed the notch just right,
Then stepped aside, watching
A century of growth topple.

The ground shook.
The countryside echoed.
The universe joined in.
The mighty deed complete.
Now the real work began.

Carefully, Woodsman cut even rounds
Of the trunk, smiling, assured he could
Breathe easy, his family would be snug round the hearth.

He cut firewood lengths.
One, two, three, four. . . . .
But the saw had had it.
‘Sputter, cough, groan” rebelled Chain Saw,
‘I’ve done enough, years of unflinching labor,
I’m entitled to a final reward.”

Woodsman, unmoved, persevered.
He pulled the cord again and again
Only to meet silence,
Only to feel the snow under his boots
Become mute footprints.

Chain Saw sighed,
Demanded again his final request.
“Take me to my just reward,
Transport me on wings of angels
Accompanied by raspy, chomping sounds.
Throw open the gates
To Chain Saw Heaven,
I deserve Valhalla
Where all good, worn, world-weary
chain saws go.”

The Woodsman, at a loss for words,
With no alternative, honored Chain’s request.
He packed his gear,
Hefted Chain Saw into his truck
And struck out for
The Forest of the Great Beyond.

There under a sturdy pine, he gently laid
His friend.
Respectfully, he carved an epitaph
In the ancient bark.

‘Here lies Chain,
The one and only indomitable Saw,
May He Rest in Peace.”

Charlene James-Duguid
Amissville, Virginia
January 18, 2019