An End to It

When I came to this mountainside almost fifty years ago it never occurred to me that there would be an end to it.
         I went along never thinking about the time when I would have to quit. I imagined—I guess — all this would last forever, if I imagined it at all. Now I'm in my seventies and all I can think about is the time when my life will be here no more.
         For example, I love being in the woods felling and bucking hardwood trees, stacking and covering the blocks, then a year or two later, hauling them to the woodshed where I stack them again, and split them all winter long into the right size for the weather—then bring them into the house.
         Now this chore I love so much is seriously painful, and I can see, now, an end to it.

David Budbill, "An End to It" from Tumbling toward the End. Copyright © 2017 by David Budbill.  Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press,
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