When I Worked in Gheny’s Yard


When I worked Ghenny's yard as a child,
I needed motivation that I later would not.
I needed to harvest the leaves and cones
and needles into bags that she convinced us were targets.
Surviving the selfish boredom, we made bamboo spears
and hurled them into plump, piled, rolling,
fleeing, black bags and made enough puncture holes
that they bled brown innards back onto the lawn.
I made spear after spear, improving
the penetrating quality, making them deadlier and sharper
and they became sharper than the knives they were
forged with and the bamboo cut me. My hand.
My blood created a sleeve and I dizzied
from blood loss or the sight of so much red in the green
and brown. I was scolded for playing with knives
but I tried to tell them it was not the knife that sliced me
it was my jagged creation, but they didn't listen
and my blood eventually dried into a flaky brown scab.
And we harvested again the next weekend.

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