Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Scratch

A Scratch

I thought about Mercutio the other day,
out of the blue.
Perhaps, it was the paper cut,
ever so slight, when
Mercutio’s fatal words dipped
from nowhere, “A scratch…but tis enough.”

I wasn’t hurting that bad. Truly it was
a mere scratch, nothing
that would set off a revolution
among my family and the family next door.
Perhaps, I was thinking
about how dismal life can be,
all bottled up inside
like my mother’s peaches she canned
in August of every year—
tight and placed one by one
until they ached for space and light,
room to breath.
Then the gooey juice dribbled over them,
creating air pockets
that mother squished out
with a regular table knife, moving
from side to side, pressing ever so gently,
until all the bubbles pushed their way
to surface and out.

I was amazed
how a mere table knife
could coax air pockets to dissipate.
Perhaps, for others, this mere table knife
could be used for more
than just squeezing out life’s bubbles.
Perhaps, we could use it
to spread the jams of the world,
across the wheat and rye breads
of confrontation, those quiet ones
or maybe even the loud ones
we hear about through
and the rest of world that thrives on news bits,
scrolling surreptitiously
at the bottom of newscasts on television
and headers on the Internet.
Perhaps, my mother knew
the simplicity of peach making
and that’s why she did it only in August,
knowing full well
that if she did in other months,
her life, too, would surreptitiously scroll
along the bottom of somebody’s journal,
and she didn’t want that to happen,
just because it was her life and no one else’s.

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