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The Kitchen Shears Speak - Poem by Christianne Balk (Christianne Balk)

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This division must end. Again I'm forced to amputate the chicken's limb; slit the joint, clip the heart, snip wing from back, strip fat from flesh, separate everything from itself. I'm used, thrown down by unknown hands, by cowards who can't bear to do the constant severing. Open and close! Open and close. I work and never tell. Though mostly made of mouth, I have no voice, no legs. My arms are bent, immobile pinions gripped by strangers. I fear the grudge things must hold. I slice rose from bush, skin from muscle, head from carrot, root from lettuce, tail from fish. I break the bone. What if they join against me, uncouple me, throw away one-half, or hide my slashed eye? Or worse, what if I never die? What I fear most is being caught, then rusted rigid, punished like a prehistoric bird, fossilized, and changed into a winged lizard, trapped while clawing air, stuck in stone with open beak. Christianne Balk

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