Because not every woman
can afford a battle-axe,
or keep a scythe in the shed,
we know where the cleaver is kept,
our weapon of choice.
The square blade glistening
at the ready in the kitchen drawer
wrapped in the silence
of our best, cleanest dish towel.
We bring it out during holiday meals
and Sunday dinners
when a knife just won’t do.
Keepers of the kitchen,
protectors of the hearth,
How else would we cut through
a lifetime of meat and bone,
of sauces in need of garlic
smashed to smithereens?
I’ve cut around a turkey's carcass
as deftly as a butcher on Saturday afternoon.
But let’s be practical, first cut,
deepest cut—not for the gentile or weak of will.
Because, as in Zen tradition, we know
how to cut the spaces in between bone
and never spill a drop of blood.
Inspired by Melissa Range’s poem “The Battle-Axe”