Poem | Advice

(Dan Edwards/Unsplash)

Every old lady should keep a hatchet handy.
Lots to chop!
Be sure the blade is sharp.

It’s not about cherry trees.
It’s those gnarly old entanglements
that don’t leave an old brain alone.
It’s the dishonest self-incriminations
and unjustified prides.
It’s the already-forgivens.

It’s the dead little cut-leaf maple
in the backyard, yes, that too—
(which still is not a cherry tree).
It’s the head of the chicken, with apologies.

It’s about the feel of the swing on the biceps.
It’s about using a power tool that’s uncomplicated.
It’s about a gratifying weight to bear.
Especially for an old lady.

Published in the July/August 2022 issue: 
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Wilma Spellman is a wife, mother, and grandmother who lives in Park Ridge, Illinois.

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