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he hammers the spile into the tree
(cold hard steel
against
warm rough bark)

she laughs when the blood pours out,
thin and clear and sweet.

ants go marching one by one
up the trunk, intoxicated by the sap.

the kitchen smells like crystalizing sugar.

she pretends to be Laura Ingalls–
five years old in the Big Woods
making maple syrup with her daddy.