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t h e   c h o r e

:  c h r i s t o p h e r    l o c ke

My brother and I work in the animal
darkness, digging through snow
for firewood. Stacking split birch
into each other’s arms, the glazed
heartwood’s stronger than what we
yet know of love. We place the logs
by the iron stove to thaw, black
kettle fuming, puddles of melt
clear on the floor. Soon, morning
will dream us into day, and we will
again move from moment to breath,
minute to hour, while the shadow
of the last tree tightens over our house.



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