Power Equals Work Over Time
My father brings his chainsaw
and his résumé wherever he goes,
side by side on the floor of the van
with the metal shovel and bucket of sand.
He’s out of work now but will get back into it.
A mechanical engineer, he can drive his van
across the state and point to mountains
outside each town and say “I did a job up there.”
We drink beer in the parking lot
after skiing and talk thermodynamics.
Beer under pressure in the bottle
freezes when you pry off the cap—
that’s why you have to gulp it down.
He’s fixing up his house, project after project.
Swirls of red PEX tubing cover the floor.
He rips out the stairs, builds new ones.
His firewood is stacked head-high outside the door.
He sharpens his chainsaw and we drive out,
looking for deadfall. Roadkill, he calls it.
Free wood. I lie in the back on sleeping bags
and watch branches scratch sky
as he takes the mountain roads.
We roll, the chainsaw and I,
side by side, like brothers.