My father held my hand
 To exact the tiny wooden
 dagger wedged in tight.

 His hand a tight vice
 His voice low
 And still.
 A stabbing pain-

then, pressure was gone.
 A measure of tenderness
 Somehow transferred.

A silver tear
 Removed in an instant.
 Mom was rough and harsh though
 Shaking the knife blade
 Or the belt if I yelled
 I’d rather suffer
 Rather than face
 Her hands.


Dave Barber

Old Poem

New Chapbook coming Soon!