Monday, March 28, 2016

Mutually Assured Destruction

    When I was nine, my father sliced his knee
    With a chainsaw. But he let himself bleed
    And finished cutting down one more tree
    Before his boss drove him to EMERGENCY.
    Late that night, stoned on morphine and beer,
    My father needed my help to steer
    His pickup into the woods. “Watch for deer,”
    My father said. “Those things just appear
    Like magic.” It was an Indian summer
    And we drove through warm rain and thunder,
    Until we found that chainsaw, lying under
    The fallen pine. Then I watched, with wonder,
    As my father, shotgun-rich and impulse-poor,
    Blasted that chainsaw dead. “What was that for?”
    I asked. “Son,” my father said. “Here’s the score.
    Once a thing tastes blood, it will come for more.”

—Sherman Alexie

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