Hammer MythsJ. P. Dancing Bear
(Poem Starting with a Line by Simone Muench) to build a house that cannot hold us or our hammers, which lie down in the shadows, and pretend that the nails do not wish them dead, that their flat heads want to go bendingly into that good night—or that being driven deep into the grains of another life was a life. The hammers lay shivering in the slivers of wood in the silvering twilight and spooned— they’d said prayers against the rusting dawn. Their Gods were our hands: flat faces, five fingers for hair and We fashioned them not in Our image or to be Olympic, but to pound and bang all the other things We had to make. They were angels with prybar wings. Ping and Ballpeen, Framing and Claw—all the names of angels written in the Book of How To. But in Our grand minds, in Our grand images of Ourselves, We could not imagine the blueprints for a house big enough to cathedral Our vanity. And the hammers began to think themselves better than Us. They outgrew the tool boxes and sheds. They asked questions but forgot to genuflect. There were whispers during the winter nights and rains that the hands were dead— departed into the ghostlier realms, leaving the flock of hammers to contemplate their fates under leaky roofs.
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