Our winter solstice

grandad was dying

and angry
i walked with him
between the trees
plunging sad steel
teeth into lifeless timber

we sweated remorse
for our labor
hacking at a
pale-skinned gum
only to find the core
green

evening closed
the farm gate
chained us to
the stump of
our pernicious
and untimely murder
thrust angry words
in our mouths
and brought us home
to a rain-washed roof
thundering till shattering
our obdurate despair

so when light and warmth
rested in the soil of our farm
he did not die

learning never
to fell trees
in the winter solstice.