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History Lesson

ISSUE:  Spring 2012

So many logs floating down the river.
When the water was high they nearly
took down the bridge we’re standing on.
I could hear them talking to each other
all night. Those men at the sawmill—
what boys they were. A boy I knew liked to say
he could cross the river hopping from log to log.
He’s gone now. I close my eyes and the night
fills with chatter. You just ease the saw against the trunk—
don’t press too hard or the teeth will catch—
then back and forth like a conversation.
Are you listening? When daylight comes,
it’s like someone pulled the tarp away to let the sunlight in.
Then log after log passes under the bridge
and away from us. Who could count so many?


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