We didn’t have much in that backyard of ours but we had shade. Until we didn’t.

The landlord, he raised our rent and cut down the trees right around the same time.

Without those redwoods we have sun and have had heat. Without those redwoods, we have a clear view of what our next door neighbor is up to.

We were left with one thing, I guess, besides the mess. We were left with all that wood.

The landlord, he says he’s going to post it on craigslist. He calls the mess he’s made “free firewood” and hopes somebody else will take care of it.

The landlord, he wants to know when we’ll be home–the one that he owns– so we can meet the strangers he thinks will pick it up, and take it all away.

Hold up, I said. Wait one minute.

Please don’t do that.

I’ll take it, I suggest, or know someone who will.

No, we don’t have a fireplace. Nor axe nor maul. Is a splitter the same thing? I even wonder.

I don’t know nor have the right tool for this situation. But I’m hoping the wood remains as long as we do, unspilt but cut up like pepperonis. Because I miss these trees we used to have in our backyard. And the shade they’d provide.

Originally published at