Sinew and muscle and strain and bone,
I cut away bit by sawdust bit on the limb.
Breath coming in gasps, heart thumping along.
Showered by bark dust, shaking wobbly ladder.
Rest a while, catch my breath, then saw some more.
Staccato beat in my chest, wheezing breaths fast,
My mind wants to keep going, my body wants rest.
The brawny limb refuses to give way,
been there a hundred years, who am I to say.
But it broke and is hanging, will fall any day.
Determined old elm tree groans out in protest,
how dare you try and amputate me?
I grunt and gasp in response:
Your time has come and gone, old limb,
It is time for you to be finished off.
(addendum: It finally fell, after three days of sawing).