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Another husk falls
from my chest--
one more
reaper harvest.

If I throw away the worst
I throw away the best,
so Iíll save this shell
though its rough edges
prick my fingertips
as I kneel to the ground

--a dry scab, but still
  fiery poignant.

To honor the dead,
I lay the sheath/
the shield--delicately--
on the kitchen shelf.

Not for public view,
no, soft in the shadow--

I will preserve
this sacred loss
--this sacrifice--
in quiet privacy
until better understanding comes
to fill the vacancy.

© 2008 Michael R. Patton      go back

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