Matt Thomas is a livestock farmer, D.C. tech worker, and occasional community college teacher. His work has recently appeared in Spellbinder Magazine, Tiny Seed Literary Journal, and The Wild Word. He lives with his partner and their teenage daughter in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.
A drop of sweat fell and marked
a piece of bark, worm written.
The language was nearly familiar,
and caused me to pause,
put down the chainsaw and stare into the canopy,
sun stippling the leaves, trunks
peeled away as if I were the center of things.
The bit of bark, a canted, broken digit
revealing an inscribed underside,
That every tamer of elements resides
in the cause of their calluses,
that they diarize, while laboring, their having been
on the matter particular to,
and in the vernacular of, that habit?
Or is that too cute? After all it’s just a track.
But what’s a track other than
a life lived, signed?
I mused and watched pill bugs work in the ant chew,
until the saw coughed and died,
reminding me of my chore,
but before restarting the machine
I reached and pocketed the bit of bark,
a memento to the arc of evolutionary time
and each willful mind, endeavoring.