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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Nails

Hammer and Nails

1

parents hammer nails
into their children,

as though already there
lying in a forgotten state,

bent and rusty, with battered heads -
waiting to be hammered straight

into children's hands,
there, don't touch that,

or into their tongues,
now don't say that,

and their feet,
don't run, stand still,

to keep them on a cross
of safety in things most often done.

2

but the nails were never there
naturally: against our nature

we put them there,
crocheted in unnatural ways,

nails pushed in
until the wood gets rotten,

hammering a newborn heart
that yearns to

touch something new
in its hands, to

say what's in the mind
with its tongue, or

walk a lonely mile
on its own two feet.

3

for without nails
the hammer would be useless,

and no wood need be
riddled with holes -

yet, those children,
will grow splintered,

not knowing how to
do anything but hammer nails

into their own children,
or spend a lifetime

trying to pull their nails out,
or die trying,

or simply hang there,
crying.

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