A birch tree lies on my power lines,
and I am powerless.

No phone, no radio, no tv,
and all because of a snow-laden tree.
Why did this happen to me?

“It’s a day, man, a day.
It’s nothing but a day.”

“Imagine,” says my wife,
“being without power all your life.”

I clench my fist and pump the air.
Nobody sees me. There’s no one to care.

A ghost’s voice echoes in my head:
“Stop moaning, bro, at least you ain’t dead.”

Sun, wind, melting snow.
The lame tree rising, slow.

At last the wires are free.
Power is back again.
I breathe more easily.

3 thoughts on “Birch

  1. Omagosh! I never heard that phrase before but it is so horrible I hope I never hear it again. I had a friend who built his own log cabin sans all modern conveniences. He did have a two seater outhouse but I was always leery of the critters that seem to enjoy life down under and it required fortitude to visit. He had a huge iron pot bellied stove used for cooking as well as heating and also a fireplace with the necessary equipment for cooking. He asked if he could raise our garden once since he didn’t have enough space to put in everything he wanted at his own place, a request happily granted. And then he helped me harvest and can the produce for year round enjoyment. I helped him with his canning after that and discovered the real reason most of the early homemakers had summer kitchens, built separately from the main house and equipped with all the necessary items to can huge amounts of food, including the meat from the yearly hog killing. While it kept the heat of all this from invading the entire main house it was hard on the people doing the canning, baking, and everything else needed to put the best tasting breads, cobblers and meals on the table in the main house. I have always envied my grandma’s kitchen and separate pantry, but don’t much want to try it out again sans a/c.

    Stay safe and give my best to Clare.


  2. Oh my goodness, what a dilemma. Out on the farm it was natural for us to be without power, at times without water because the pipes froze, without a lot of things. Nothing like a twentieth century person having to attempt life in nineteenth century conditions. I wonder how my grandparents made it until the days of indoor plumbing, but sure don’t want to have to find out! And then I can remember their outhouses, and the mystery is solved. I definitely don’t want that experience ever again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Our summer home had neither electricity nor running water. An outhouse, oil lamps, candles, and a wonderful cast-iron wood stove that baked the best-ever bread and cakes! When I think about these things, I remember that hateful phrase, spoken with such pride: “We bombed them back to the stone age.” Did you really? How civilized.

      Liked by 1 person

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