Strokes sounding as clean as winter’s
singing into the cold air.
Chopping as precise and powerful as
the men taking hold of the handle
to begin their work.
The oak, its roots as deep as the core
where from this myriad family was
tall and austere, the ironwood not
giving way to the song the men sing.
Each of them, the men, the oak,
doing as they do that they may live,
only that they may live.
The rules of one, governing not
the other, but the rules will be kept
to keep one another alive.
The laws will be respected,
whether or not they are our own.