Compass

Another of my father’s dense metal hand tools

 

That he’d never find or use again

once we took them from the shed.

 

That caught the exact size of things

by reach, touch, sight —

not needing inches and eighths

or arid calculation.

 

That turned perfect circles without

even trying.

 

That had a not-so-well-oiled joint

twisting between two sharp points, important

only in how far one was from the other.

 

That my brother and I blunted

by spiking it into rocky dirt and tree trunks

while almost always missing the

tiny, half rotten backyard apples

we aimed to impale.

 

That, after an unmeasured arc,

stuck, for a moment, just above my knee.

 

Lee W. Potts

 

Lee W. Potts has an MA in creative writing from Temple University and is a former editor of the Painted Bride Quarterly. His work has appeared in The South Street Star, Gargoyle, The Sun, and The Painted Bride Quarterly. He lives just outside of Philadelphia.

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