Actor Keith Hamilton Cobb website


Fulcrum

Splitting Logs 2

Shit, I’m older now.
Elbows ache and knees more.
“You’re only as strong as your weakest link,” they say.
But I can still drop that twelve pound mall
On the flat of a fat maple log,
Snort hard and send the severed halves flying in submission.  Bang!!  Fuckin’ay
badass, hardass machine for breakin’ shit,
That’s gotta be what, from the soles of my feet planted,
Swinging through the back, through the shoulders, through the length of my arms,
Through the length of that steel handle, what,
Maybe eight, maybe
Nine hundred foot-pounds at the point of contact at least?  I don’t know the math.
My daddy, he’s slow.
Crooked and squat,
His body ain’t no fulcrum
For an axe that heavy swinging any more.
For him, twelve pounds overhead can’t be more than, what,
A hundred or so pounds at the target?  Maybe two.  I don’t know the math.
I know that dense, wet wood isn’t so scared of him like it used to be when I was small.
He doesn’t seem to mind.  Maybe he does.
I do.  But he doesn’t say much.
But he’ll whack away at it,
Shuffling and crouching,
Lifting with a grunt to set it right when he’s half missed it, and knocked it
Tumbling off the stump.
Heaving that hammer and dropping it
‘Till that log surrenders, and the halves drop off to either side
like executed soldiers, mostly bludgeoned to death….
Lives can weaken if we don’t nourish them,
So as there’s less for a Spirit to swing from.
That’s not his problem.
Me, I’ll blast through that whole pile of logs and stack it in an hour
So he doesn’t have to, and
So I’ve got something to show.

© Keith Hamilton Cobb
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