The sundial sits atop
the stump of a cherry tree
that fell in the night
Ernie saws its branches
to 20-inch lengths exactly
stacks the logs
mulches the leaves
eats the fruit
the crooked black stump
freed of branches' weight
leaps upright
six feet high
empty -- Ernie
levels the slanted top
places the sundial
a wedding gift
on new wood
orients it just so
accurate to the minute
Eastern Standard Time
uses weatherproof screws
to fasten it to place
Ernie is a tall man
only he and God
will ever know
how good a job
he's done

Martha L. Deed
The Buffalo News
August 1, 2004