The Broken Tower is dedicated to the memory of Brennan Joseph Dekeersgieter, beloved brother and son.
–Part IV of A Sonnet Sequence in memoriam Brennan Dekeersgieter
I went to hack some tree down with a maul;
it was young, and green where the phloem pulped
beneath the blunt blade. The heartwood hadn’t thawed,
spring had just begun. I was incapable
of this senseless ceding of my stilted
hurt, though I wanted it bad then, to kill it.
Seated calmly slumped in the slop of warming duff
I thought of putting the axe to my shin,
Then remembered how you handled suffering.
When you bit your tongue in two, you grinned,
‘This is gonna be one helluva scar!’
The tree would clean its gash and soon be greening.
This is going to leave one hell of a scar.