• Gail Sosinsky

Splinters

by Gail Sosinsky


I ran the wood deep underneath the nail

of my thumb. The doctor pulled the splinter

out, gave me a shot of antitoxin.

I looked dejected, begged pity, got it:

"Poor baby, such a painful cross to bear."


At home, a growing first-born son, you worked

your father's trade, lifting, hewing, shaping

wood. A thousand splinters your hands have known.

No miracles of modern medicine were there

to heal your hands, scarred by family business.


The final time You lifted wood, You bore

death. With Your back to the rude, unfinished

board, You inscribed a new Family contract

in blood, driving the hard bargain home with

three nails of iron, a thousand nails of wood.

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