The aroma of honesty.

A nail pummelled wall, erupting through to the other side. A surface fracture, woodgrain outraged, splintered, knots undone. Unexpectedly brittle, spiked and undoable, these shards of once living tissue. Cutting across the grain is always harder. Tougher, shreddy, dangerous. Muscle fights back, intuition warns, a secret Pine Gap for behaviour. The chainsaw screams, biting bark, metal through crust. The trunk that would never move, never sway, never flinch under my climbing feet, labours open, screaming, to reveal the ring tale of its life. Winter, summer, bloom, death... a concentric inking of imperceptible growth, stretching up to tower over our roof, tunnelling down through our sewers, spiralling around water pipes, fingering for moisture. "One day this could be a table," you say, dusting splashes of white eucalyptus from my hair. This one a crutch, this one a coffin, this one a crucifix. Sticky woodblood, clear sap, stopped up everything, vainly. We were too strong, we who planted, nurtured, watered it for 15 years. You are ours to cull, we thought. Years later, cut wood is the aroma of honesty, of hard-won exhaustion, of real world truth. A foreignness to everything plastic that surrounds me. A call to remember what my ring tales could be.