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Yes, Gramps did have an ax to grind
As well as all the other tools
Of the farmer’s trade there hanging.

So where it stood in his garage,
I remember as if today.
The large sandstone disk suspended

In that metal dark rusted frame
Not used long since for its intent.
Metal seat and pedal invited

A curious me there ready,
To set the thick wheel in motion,
Foot pumping as to a drum beat.

I take down the different tools,
Relics of pain and ache and cost,
A family raised and land sold.

The pumping pedal thrumming as
I play steel on stone with purpose,
Slowly drawing each blade across

And back as the wheel sparks its song,
Hot notes, honed between sharp and flat,
So perfect we call it the edge.


Bruce Morton splits his time between Montana and Arizona. His volume of poems, Simple Arithmetic and Other Artifices, was published in 2015. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in various magazines and anthologies including, most recently, Muddy River Poetry Review, Mason Street Review, Main Street Rag, Nixes Mate Review, Grey Sparrow Journal, Sin Fronteras/Writers Without Borders, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Blue Unicorn. He was formerly Dean of Libraries at Montana State University.

© 2020, Bruce Morton

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