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200th Weekly Poetry Contest winner: The Naming of Sharp Instruments

by Bruce Boston

A knife, quick to the ribs,
can have any name
and sometimes several.
Dirk. Dagger. Stiletto.
A knife is only a knife
even when its tip is red.

An axe is sure,
yet lacks subtlety.
Axes have no formal names
at all, only nicknames.
Tom. Chopper. Old Thunder
An axe doesn't care
as long as its blade
catches the sun.

Knowing no lineage
but the fire and anvil,
swords must earn
their names in battle.
When chosen well,
such names hold powers
beyond the strength
of mortal metal.

A pen, sharpest
and dullest of all,
sprouts many names:
sword, Tom, axe, stiletto.
Somewhere between
the point and the paper,
in the silence of imagination,
it takes your name
for its own.

See all the entrants to 200th Weekly Poetry Contest