By: Benjamin Thomas
Jed and Evan were there when your attention finally drifted,
and your hand lingered
on an old, sinewed buckeye limb
and the chipper
took your pinky
at the knuckle.
The grandkids were eleven and they had never seen anything like it;
they froze, drained of sap.
and his voice broke lengthwise,
and blood spattered
Jed’s Muck Boots,
and it might as well have been his own.
At Thanksgiving, your stump is modest,
wearing fig leaves.
The grandkids cast secret, sidelong glances
toward you at the table’s head
as you pass biscuits with a gauze-veiled hand,
Your children avert their eyes, embarrassed,
as drought-hardened fields blush
dark at rainwater’s violation.
But you yet measure words in breadth,
I think I found what’s wrong
with the Buick.”
And one of your sons,
taking a biscuit in turn, returns:
And so we’ll pass the wicker basket,
son to son, in turn,
as your sorrow
on our tongues.