86: coma, canto 29

canto 29

yes, sometimes I forget
which hand to use:
the left or the right.

the way my mother tells the story:
she asked him to take down
some limbs with the efficient
eyes of the surgeon,
a hundred times in a life
time of cutting,
assistance, clearing,
the everyday
weed piles, holes,
clutter making,
clutter mending,
the tunneling of worms,
ants rising and saying, hey,

when he forgot
just for a moment
how to stop the saw
and just for a brief moment,
a flash,
the risk of the future riskless,
his mind told him to use
that the hand is good
for stopping things,
as if it were everyday,
the way it was always done,
(it’s true I once
dropped a coffee cup
because I remembered
I was right handed)
and in the instance after,
the engine smoking on the grass,
the question should not have
should not have should not have
becomes a chant, repeated,
and for a moment nothing moves

the way my mother tells it:
I saw him do it
and all I could do was watch.
It was like looking into the bush
and seeing a hippo
staring back at you
but it has four eyes
not just two.

she said.

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