MANUAL LABORS

 

 

Catherine Wing

Spoke Saw

A rock is a rock is a rock, right?
Except this one’s called a hand
And that makes it somehow a part of you,
A member of the band, of which
You’re the lead and singer.
It’s true it’s not too sharp,
More than a bit of a grind,
And it no talk so good. But blunt
Though it be, it was made for frankness,
Not to prove but to pulverize a point,
To mill and crush any inkling
Of an argument into a lovely mash,
A sour mush, a mush mulled over mutter.
And how’s this any different from
What a tongue does as it hammers out the world,
Taking the grain of an idea and gnashing it
Against some grammar? Out comes
Something about as subtle as a fist,
A dried-out corn-pone grunt,
When the heart called for jam and butter
Every screw needs a driver, the tongue’s
As tired and tied a tool as all the rest
Language is, at best, a guessing game,
Wherein my pen’s a rock, a fool, a gist,
Trying like a tinsel pick-axe to persist.