7797088544_31e38546f0_b (1)My dad was olways chopping trees and by olways I mean one time he decided to cut down a tall evergreen in the back yard. It wasn’t that tall. I was 5, and I sat in a small wooden stool/chair in a spot where my dad said the tree wouldn’t fall. My mom was inside making sandwiches where I learned later in life my dad had probably told her to be.

By the time she came out to give him the sandwich the tree was damn near done being sawed through, but it was still standing by the grace of gravity, friction, or the force of things that last.

Inertia. The swing on the other tree was way too wily for a five year old, and though my dad was a tall stringy man made mostly of bone, he could fling me more than 30 meters into the air. Or feet, the metric system is olways doubtful when used in America, as is my memory. But I was never anxious on that swing. Not scared, like I am now sometimes on the subway that the old man across from me might look my way again. It had two thin ropes the squirrels eventually bit through.

Prbbly because they looked like corn or something. My dad made a machine to kill the squirrels– a wheel with corn on each spoke that would throw them violently to the ground if they tried for the corn. It killed none of them. Instead it ended up making a bunch of corn readily available, and I think they were well-fed for a while. Until something went wrong and they had to resort to rope.

When the tree finally slid off of its stump like a knee cap after a bad blind tackle, it came down right where my dad said it wouldn’t. It was either because of the wind, or because my dad didn’t olways know what he was talking about–of which I learned later he was well aware. The stool were I was sitting exploded. Wood met wood. Luckily I was near my mother getting a sandwich. Right?

The top of the tree that fell scraped a long green line down the blank white shakes on the back of our house. I remember thinking about the swing on the other tree, I could hear it’s rope getting swallowed by the bark as my mother stared my father down–her mouth puckered like an overgrown trampoline.

When my dad moved he scraped through the garden; a long green line, just nearly destroying the places he fell. But he could really push a swing.

Thumbnail by Biodiversity Heritage Library// CC BY 2.0

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