crosscut

The two-man saw.

for fourteen…

push
pull
push
pull

Actually,
That’s wrong.

Pull
Pull
Pull
Pull

Alternately.
Indefinitely.

Until the tree finally falls
with a thunderous
and satisfying crash.

Pushing while the other pulls
only
jams
the
saw

and
elongates
exacerbates
frustrates
the work.

And the workers…

Take turns exerting;
hence the other 12.

Many hands make light work,
even when the saw
only
has
room
for
four.

That’s a fucking big tree.


Finally, here’s our (optional) prompt for the day. It comes to us from Poets & Writers’ “The Time is Now” column, which provides weekly poetry prompts, as well as weekly fiction and creative non-fiction prompts.

In a prompt originally posted this past February, Poets & Writers directs us to an essay by Urvi Kumbhat on the use of mangoes in diasporic literature. As she discusses in her essay, mangoes have become a sort of shorthand or symbol that writers use to invoke an entire culture, country, or way of life. This has the beauty of simplicity – but also the problems of simplicity, in that you really can’t sum up a culture in a single image or item, and you risk cliché if you try.

But at the same time, the “staying power” of the mango underscores the strength of metonymy in poetry. Following Poets & Writers’ prompt, today I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that invokes a specific object as a symbol of a particular time, era, or place.

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