Grey light. Cold trunks. Leaf litter in the damp
morning. Chainsaw gloves smell of oil, petrol,
wood shavings and exhaust. Gloves stiff with cold,
infused with toil and woodland management.
A deer crosses, silent stealth, picking soft
through the green-tinged, spring-poised coppice. March is
in touching distance, harvest will cease while
flowers grow. No one sees the deer, none care.
Kevlar boots, thick and languid, grip feet – firm,
sturdy, toe caps; tools themselves: an investment –
compress feet in slight, comfortable pain.
Legs flex, fingers twitch, breaths hang in clear air.
Silence is transitory: a car revs
past. No traffic here, only folk who mean
to pass or visit on purpose come by;
few stop, less mean to arrive and take breath.
Trance broken, two-stroke slosh-glugs fuel tank
full, starter cord-rip cough-chokes engine to
life, gut-revving blue smoke; clearing to a
putting, chink-kick exhaust. Teeth blaze-cut wood.