tree removal, i wonder what they pay

a tree removal company rolled up in two trucks in front of my mother’s house. one with a hydraulic lift to scale the tree, the other with a chipper to change its form. they both sat on ice; my mother talked of salting the drive. we watched from the window, Bella the doodle most concerned. earlier i had noted morning light orange of the highest limbs of trees and a bluff black and white back drop before anyone could be called awake, no stirring. and men jumped from their trucks–muffled steps resounded, figured the positioning, lifted, tied ropes, ran trailers into the snowy ground and began to saw, saw, saw. the owner, anal about his law, came out to discuss the future of each blade and which way trees fall in the city. and then it happened. the fall. no “timber” for timber. silence as a shock wave, through the centre, through the top of the tree sending it swaying in a sickening bow back and then forth. i imagined a whole life ruined for a moment; i imagined the rings of a tree and its age are only revealed after death. nextly. chips and dust and exhaust and noise and cutting and chopping and tossing happened in enough cool to make each exhale seen, almost tangible. some authoritative hollers. aside from that, i wonder, how they do it. i could cut down trees too. i wonder what they pay.

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