A man can clear the land himself, can mill
timber he’s felled and sticker it to boards,
letting it dry until the twists are gone,
in makeshift solar kilns pitched facing south.
I’ve seen it done. Followed the images:
he built the woodshop first. It took some time,
but once he got the roof up, he could spend
even a winter’s day in crafting beams.
He started on the house. An illness slowed
most progress, but he got it framed in spring
and moved on to the roof. The autumn rains
came early, while one side was still exposed.
What haunts me now are pictures of his hands
twisted by work, too weak to lift the adze,
much less to spike a beam. The images
grow sparse. A last one tracks the drifting snow.