69/365: Chopping Wood

I suppose I've become soft.
Sometimes I think I should order cords of wood
and an axe dipped in red paint on one end,
like the one my father had when I was a child.
I could chop wood out back every day
until my arms became strong again.
My shoulders could get that curve
that rounds down into the upper arms
like on gymnasts and lean, young men.
I would glisten with sweat again in the sun,
work up that good, earthy-damp salt lather,
the sultry kind that hangs close and hovers low,
the kind you can breathe in
when you turn around
through the heavy air
on a hot August afternoon.


I am writing one poem every day in 2016, and I am using the hashtag #365poems to document my progress.