How to Break Your Hand, Joseph Mills

Diane Corson, The Elk



How to Break Your Hand


When your parents visit for the holidays,
like they’ve done so many times,
have cleaned the house,
cleared away the rubble of daily living,
swept the sidewalks,
but have one of them fall over,
tripping on  — who knows –
a root? a rock? – seemingly nothing,
and badly scrape an elbow, knee, face.
Lift them and get them to a chair.
Get the band aids you keep in the kids’ bathroom.
Have them choose between Sponge Bob and Spider-Man.
Later that night, once they’re in bed,
remember how, when you bought the house years ago,
they helped with the renovations,
easily carrying 2x4s from the van
and painting on the step ladders.
Think about the fall and about what’s coming.
Slam your hand against the kitchen tiles.

Joseph Mills


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