They’ve torn from the back pasture whole acres.
I hear the machines working at my homecoming
down the long driveway. Invisible behind the barn
I hear them; the felling reminds me of years spent
riding the tree line looking for downed fence, trees
wobbled in hard wind, brought down in a hulk
of splintered trunk—but these, unnaturally
wasted, splinter by the dozen. Yellow metal
grips now the remains, moving out beyond pines.
My mother turns. They’re clearing, she says, and as if
anticipating something: they’ve done a good job;
made it look nice. I imagine through to the barbed wire
at the property line I remember rolling out
in labored lengths. Posting, re-posting, cutting, hammering;
taking the occasional metallic bite in what used to be
the thick of trees— long-grown oak, the few remaining
maples for years turning in their cycle
from spring’s greens to brilliant,
burnt sienna, vermillion, copper sunglow—
It paid for the new roof; how’s your money
holding up? Your share’s coming.