The Bone Handle

This is special to me –
my grandmother’s bone-handled knife.
It has survived from her kitchen,
where its serrated edge lay very still
(but dangerously close)
To the dusty sign:
I’m not deaf, I’m just ignoring you.

It raised a family,
my grandmother’s bone-handled knife,
Carving out lunches –
leftovers subdued between slices –
on a grinding, daily basis.

My grandmother’s kitchen is long past,
the lunches dessicated into one final leftover:
I hold my grandmother’s bone-handled knife,
witness of her life, her service,
which my husband has just used
to pry open a tin of paint –
The nearest object to hand.

I raise its magnificent length of serrations,
elegant shark’s teeth,
and say, honey,
That’s not what it’s for.


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