A Scrap of Wood

Tom from Maine By Tom from Maine, 4th Feb 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Humour>Poetry

Winters in Maine call for desperate measures. Especialy where heating ones old, drafty house is concerned. Yet, there ARE people out there who are warm...But, are they happy?

A Scrap of Wood

A scrap of wood
To warm the soul.
To break the chill
To warm a bowl.

He wandered through
The barren yard
Hard scrabble, stone
Dirt frozen hard.

No scrap, no stick
No twig nor branch
Met his eye
Rewarding glance.

His neighbors’ fire
Glowed through filthy pane
Greasy smoke signalled
Warmth in vain.

He walked the path
Grown slick with age
An animal pacing
In its cage.

Seeking change
A pattern broken
A thing to burn
The smallest token.

Neath clotted skies
Tumescent stars
His desperate cries
Heard not afar.

His upward gaze
Concealed the prize
Til he fell upon it
A great surprize

A scrap of wood!
In fact, a log!
Round and dry
He stared, agog.

What is this? luck?
No prayers for wealth.
Perhaps a dream?
He pinched himself.

That hurt, he giggled
An idiots laugh
He covered his mouth
And tripped down the path

He hid the prize
Beneath his coat
Ran into the house
And kissed the goat.

I have it my dear!
We’ll have heat tonight!
Its mine! I found it
I have the right.

As he stripped the bark
To save each sliver
He wondered aloud
Did God deliver?

How did he win
This warm reward?
He felt quite strange
The goat demurred.

But still he would know
The mysterious source
So he crept outside
And retraced his course.

There was no answer
There was no clue
He stood as before
And thought it through.

I was walking thus
Without success
And stopped right here
In cold distress.

What’s this? Another!
First joy, then fear.
This is not right
Who dropped this here?

Just then he saw it
A broken board
On his neighbor’s fence
Near his woodpile hoard.

This fat old man
With his smoking stack!
Who had more than enough
And for nothing lacked.

The board had shifted
Causing the logs to roll
Towards HIS yard
None would say he stole.

It would not be missed
These few logs at night
Besides he owned the yard
And was in the right…

He rightfully snatched
The second log
Scurried back to his lair
In a smoky fog.

The next day was fine
He was warm at last
He walked to town
But walked too fast.

He smiled to himself
And then almost laughed
His joy was a secret
His misery passed.

Then his neighbor saw him
And paused, quite smug.
What cheer inspired
This spineless slug?

Suspicion grew
He would know the truth
He summoned the man
Rank had its use..

“Oho! What joy
Do you celebrate?
Have I missed a joke?
Have I come too late?”

Oh no! What now?
Am I found out?
I am innocent!
I have no doubt…

“No, no! Good neighbor
I laughed at myself!
I was just thinking…
Of a dream of wealth”

“Ha Ha! That’s rich!
You? A man like me?
Good one Neighbor!
Now let me be…”

How smug, The rich.
He walked right home,
Into the yard
And sat on a stone.

The cold wind blew.
He stared at the board,
kicked the fence
and released the hoard.

Thomas Crowley – May 24, 2005

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author avatar Ron Flowers
5th Feb 2014 (#)

Nice poem.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
5th Feb 2014 (#)

It goes that way sometimes, I think. I like the way you expressed yourself.

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author avatar Christine Crowley
5th Feb 2014 (#)

Great descriptive poem. I liked this one.

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