I might as well be naked, shoeless
in the brambles, useless as the clear
blue sky than to leave without a knife

folded in my pocket, its smooth bone
wearing new denim thin for decades
pressed against my left thigh, still

ready for work. So long ago, you
can’t remember your Christmas gift,
our any excuse to swap cutlery, a Case

Copperhead, four-inch lock-back blade
of surgical stainless steel that still glints
beneath my moustache, feeding hay—

old flatbed rocking on auto-pilot
across a blond oat flat, shiny black
heifers lined-out happy behind me.

Each time I reach to unfold it:
we are young men. Yet,
so much depends upon its edge.

                                                            for Gary

One response to “THE EDGE

  1. Wonderful poem, John.  I’m printing and posting this one.  I also wanted to thank you for the information on the sun/sunscreen/pesticide issues you wrote about recently.  I’ve had similar problems on my arms, only in summer, and had been suspicious of the fly spray I use on the horses. (I only have trouble when the sun is hot on my skin, which doesn’t happen very often up here).  I had figured out a while ago to stay away from any chemical sunscreens, and that helped, but now I’m thinking the fly spray may be a factor in the problem.  As always, love your posts. Kim Roe


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