Hatchets

by Chris Buchanan
Poetry, 2015

The foundations of the house were brushed iron and wood
– hatchets we had brought and slung, then
dutifully buried, forced into the ground, pushed against
’til the bones in our palms were whittled weak,
and then stamped down by one of us
while the other stomped hard, must-covered soil
off the shovel.

The practice had made the walls stand strong and stay up
– the soil was thick as clay with hatchets
packed into space, lumped in, crammed like a pattern
’til there was no white left showing underground.
And we had made the minefield of their
edges – barely blunted, hardly missing their factory shine
– flat as a flag.

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