He came to cut our trees, sky-tall pines and redwoods that shoot into the blue, crusted limbs like broken teeth waiting to tear loose. I shook my head when I saw him, his gray beard flecked with dust and wood chips. He drove a broken-down truck and dragged along a chipper that looked like the saddest caboose you ever saw.
"Where'd you find him?" I asked my husband. "He's old." I imagined him hiking up the trunks along our hillside, his body already bashed by time.
"He's good," my husband said.
I watched, pretending not to watch. I poked around outside the house as he snaked his harness around his waist and straddled the trees. "Look at him," I said to my sons. "Look how high he goes."
One day I lingered as he came down. "What's it like," I asked, "being so high?"