Chainsaw Lament by Lowell Jaeger My sister’s pious stepson visits and stays one morning too long. Over breakfast I snipe at his Christian College’s easy answers—because the Bible says so. He's collected. My pulse quickens, sharpens to whittle him down. Till his shoulders cave, eyes go blank. With my chainsaw's ragged-throat rage, an hour later I'm dropping dead wood for the small thrill to see it fall. And spy a venerable buckskin larch, particularly thick and reaching above the others. Irresistible. I launch in, my saw's bar too short to make this graceful. Bark so massive it takes a bucket of sweat to chisel into the giant's woody core. Till it moans and topples. I shut the engine. Deathly quiet, but for my heartbeat's drum. I'd cut him to the ground. Not just his simple faith. Not the slump in his spine as he left the room. Something bigger. Beetles file out from bore holes in the stump. Stagger in daylight. Crushed juneberry branches still in bloom, twitch and sway. I watch small leaves on the forest floor watching me. All of us uncertain what's to come.