Last summer you taught my son to carve a spoon. He asked, “Granddad does wood bleed? ”
For the way you didn’t panic, thanks.
Answered, “No, but you do” and explained,
“The knife can be too sharp to feel it,”
held my son’s bleeding palm in your hand,
told the him to think each move before he moved it,
to check his small fingers, the blank,
his round leg where the blank rests and breathe—
I know you meant the lesson for my son.
Dad, the world is too sharp for me to feel it.
Teach me to strike deep with the
until I find the soft wood under the birch bark,
to push away from the hand. Tell me to check my heart, chest where the heart rests and breathe.
And together we’ll stay by the campfire
while jay birds call in the maple trees.
Then, when I am calm, I’ll remember
to pay attention and feel the wound—
the scarred hand carves a good spoon.