Poem

 

Sheffield Steel

We are sitting in my mother’s kitchen,
drinking coffee and talking about nothing.
she shows me a box of knives,
the long blades reflecting her face,
the pale colour of her eyes
not mine at all.

She begins to tell me her story,
and I drift past her. For me,
there is little of England in this house,
not even these knives look like
they have been through WWII, Sheffield Steel
engraved in a crest at the base of each blade.

On a shelf with the poems of Bishop and Owen
is a hockey puck that is Canada for me;
it is a broken leg left to mend on its own,
bruising fights with French Canadians,
and a language I will never love.
How can this be the same as the knives:

my mother says “beautiful” and “pretty,”
while I say “bone-hard” and “black.”

 

Copyright © 2004 Linda Schaible

 

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