Wing Tipped Hammer

Don’t drop the hammer in the lake
chilled inexperienced hands seem to think otherwise.
Just, don’t drop the hammer in the lake honey.
Shivering maple leaves were strewn upon the dock in autumn,
and had rustled in protest in the remembrance of summer.
Hands shook in the frigidity of the imposing winter and
a girlish simper was the only thing around that was still as green as spring.

The hammer lives in the lake.
That was the wing tipped hammer that built houses.
He used to hold the dimpled navy rubber handle,
to handle anything.

Turn this baby around, and then they will be scared of ya
he showed me. Two stainless steel arches pierce.
Bring it to the new house, you will need it,
try keeping it at the front door
and no one will bother you. Winking, half genuine, half unserious.

They will be sleeping with the fishes
right next to the hammer
living in the lake.

A familiar notch at the base,
something inflicted by him on every hammer he ever had.
So you know it’s yours
he explained.
Grabbing the exacto knife,
he knows exactly where to put the knick.
Right at the base
of the one that you took with you
to the new rental.

Pointed on one end, blunt on the other
two relentless sides.
Lots of gravity, and tough as nails.

Gentle and exact
brute and firm.

Make, and break.

Alex McKaigue

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