Roll a log down the ramp to the mill
Into the sawblade, spinning with the power of 13 horses,
we push it ahead of us at a gentle walking pace.
It eats through the wood: a sharp blade, a smooth cut.
What was round is flattened so it has a defined edge.
The nature of the tree is squared away.
Long slabs of barked wood stacked, bucked and dried.
They'll crackle under syrup in the evaporator in a few seasons.
Flip her so she lies on her new side.
The inner nature is revealed,
the layers of growth,
the eyes where the branches budded,
the pink and red rot of old age.
Flip her again, haul the log dawgs into place and lock her down tight,
walk down her side, slice the full length and pull the saw back.
Warm sawdust spews and we breath in the smells of fresh spruce and gas.
Flip her a fourth time. There's one final strip of wild bark.
She fits now, right up square against the body of the mill. The log dawgs pin her down neatly.
Slice and slice and slice again, reaching deeper towards the heartwood.
The eyes of the Aspens in the yard are watching.