when boys have to be oak trees

The woodcutter’s sons
have no father in the
warm space between their
hard work and their laughter.

Their mother watches them
from the window as they give
manhood all that they’ve got
with a hatchet, an axe, and a saw.

It is a boyhood ritual of teaching each other what the
other may be missing, while the young ears and eyes are still not too proud to learn love.

The wood piles up on the covered porch as they walk tall carrying all of the weight of an oak in their bones and hearts,

watching the other
for clues into the secret society
where father’s don’t leave
and mother’s  aren’t woodcutters.

J. Ann.

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