The Woodcutter

She stood there for several minutes
Watching him move with effortless animal ease
Trimming small branches from the trunk of a tree
The axe biting into the wet wood.
Initially her presence went unnoticed
Since she blended into the landscape of hills and trees.

They entered the woodcutter’s cottage
The dew began to form small patches of rust on his tools
While inside she gasped at his powerful strokes.

On the afternoon of the second day
The woodcutter lifted his head from her breast
And looked out on the trees and distant hills
And said: You have sapped my energy.

That evening she left him to the tree
And to his solitude.

Purakanui — September, 1978

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