I WALKED down alone Sunday after church To the place where John has been cutting trees To see for myself about the birch He said I could have to bush my peas. The sun in the new-cut narrow gap Was hot enough for the first of May, And stifling hot with the odor of sap From stumps still bleeding their life away. The frogs that were peeping a thousand shrill Wherever the ground was low and wet, The minute they heard my step went still To watch me and see what I came to get. Birch boughs enough piled everywhere!— All fresh and sound from the recent axe. Time someone came with cart and pair And got them off the wild flower’s backs. They might be good for garden things To curl a little finger round, The same as you seize cat’s-cradle strings, And lift themselves up off the ground. Small good to anything growing wild, They were crooking many a trillium That had budded before the boughs were piled And since it was coming up had to come.