The Woodgrain Forest Reports

Rebecca Wadlinger


All my toys were made of wood.
Or, I should say with utmost precision,
all my toys were made of trees,
because mostly I played with a stick.

S.E. and I sip Bordeaux from a decanter
shaped like a woman’s torso. We look
like we should know how to tango,

and we do, to the drugstore with its
gem-cut lipsticks and hum-lit aisles
of glut and disposable lore.

George Washington had wooden toys.
They were his teeth.

S.E. and I strike matches and hold them
upside down. They burn to the end.

As authorities on abandoned tourist attractions,
we visit the president’s dentures.

It does not take us long to point out
the lack of grain. The cow molars.
The gold and lead.

We return to the woods and shudder
when rabbits dart across our graves.

What won’t we chop down
when we are made wealthy
masters of a hatchet?