Dream of Cold Steel
Fathers and teachers, what is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering
of being unable to love.
Dream of a knife in an open drawer
waiting to be drawn, to cut the meat
or the finger, or drawn from a boot
in the Athens market, all stamped
with the word Wehrmacht, boots
made for marching on the Night
of the Long Knives, though knights
don’t use the knife to kill, a sword
will do the job, or even a flattering
word. The knife is still the kindest cut.
Sue Howell is a former teacher with degrees from Tulane University and Southern Illinois University who started writing poetry seriously when she left the classroom. Since then she’s published poems in passager, Southern Indiana Review, and various regional journals. She’s won some local contests, and she was a finalist in the River Styx International Poetry Contest and the 2012 Tennessee Williams Literary Festival contest.