Tree Bones

Planked and bundled, scraps and shims.
Plane them smooth and clean, trim

the edges and knobs. Pine curlings
like ocean waves flowing down your arm,

arbor dust like spilled flour on your boots.
Heartwood in my hands, limbs and roots,

woodgrains a calligraphy unfurling
along a sawblade. Varnishes to embalm

what grows no more, to strengthen
old tree bones and lengthen

their use. Gluing, nailing, learning
how broken bits can be voiceless psalms—

reborn, formed, and joined into songs unique and new.
I can only hope my own bones can find such use.

Samuel T. Franklin is sometimes a writer. An avid fan of The Boss, woodworking, and watching his vegetable garden cling to life, he currently lives and works in Bloomington, Indiana. He holds a bachelor’s in history and a master’s in English, and will always have a soft spot for cheery, structurally questionable apartments. His first book, The God of Happiness, was published by Main Street Rag in 2016. His website:

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