Come see the woodpile behind the cannery.
Come through the wall
to where the wood was chopped
and the difficult wood was hewed.
There is a short history of commotion here,
where a sudden bonfire spat its surprise
at the sky—
a hundred feet or more the shavings swept
through disturbed air, and made their own
music, the music hands make, such a yellow
crackle and such a thrashing
in the morning.
Come wait for the heavy trucks to arrive,
the men in dusters cutting the twine,
loading the long ghostly planks like ballast
into iron barges.
This will be packing for a transatlantic box,
or paper for essays on schadenfreude, or timber
for dollhouse dressers, or a twenty baht note
for the Thai rubber trade. These matchsticks
will burn whenever you strike them, and this,
hack at it however you like, is nothing more
than deadwood for the fire. Come see—now
even the men are doing only
what they were made to do.