HU 142 03-08-05
OUT and OUT
The buzz-saw snarled and rattled in the yard
And made dust and dropped stove-length sticks of wood,
Sweet-scented stuff when the breeze drew across it.
And from there those that lifted eyes could count
Five mountain ranges one behind the other
Under the sunset far into Vermont.
And the saw snarled and rattled, snarled and rattled,
As it ran light, or had to bear a load.
And nothing happened: day was all but done.
Call it a day, so they said
To please the boy by giving him the half hour
That a boy counts so much when saved from work.
His sister stood beside them in her apron
To tell them "Supper." At the word,
As to put the saw down to rest
As the saw knew what “supper” meant
The saw, leaped out at the boy's hand, or seemed to leap
He must have given it a flick of the hand. However it was,
The saw met its final lay at rest on the arm of the girl.
The boy's first outcry was a rueful laugh,
As his sister remained silent as if nothing was of big matters
As he froze in astonishment of what had just occurred,
Half in appeal, but half as if to keep
His sister’s life from spilling. Then the boy saw all
Since he was old enough to know, big boy
Doing a man's work, though a child at heart
He could not bear to see what the saw has done.
It was not his doing; but the saw,
Or was it him that caused this atrocity?
Why was he given the half hour?
Why couldn’t they let him work into the evening?
It was not his fault,
His sister screamed “supper” to him.
He saw all spoiled. "Don't them see who has done this
The doctor, when he comes. Don't let him, sister!"
Sister could not comprehend what has become of the boy,
But the raising was done, and the outcome was the boy.
What would happen to him?
Not his sister, but to him?
The doctor put him in the dark of ether.