Red Handled Knife
by Barbara Brooks
Barbara Brooks

Barbara Brooks, a poet for 15 years, has had her poems published in Green Hills Literary Lantern, Charlotte Poetry Review, The River's Edge and Kerf among others. Her chapbook, "The Catbird Sang" has been published by Finishing Line Press. Many of her poems are based on the observations of nature. She is a physical therapist at UNC Hospitals and lives in Hillsborough, N.C.

Longer than I have know most of my friends,
I have had that knife. Bought it in Paris.
Small, plastic handle same length as the blade.
We were going to have a wine and cheese party
in the room. Be cosmopolitan.

You could take almost anything on the plane
back then, so I packed it in my bag. Since
then it has followed me to Memphis,
Hillsborough, a few camping spots.

Along the way, I must have used it
as a screwdriver, bent the blade.
Now it makes a ripple in the cheese.
I cut up hot dogs to hide the greyhound's
thyroid medicine. Still pretty sharp,
except for those dents.

And me? I don't remember the names
of the wine and cheeses. Or if we had bread.
Can't recall a single face of the people
I shared it with. Rarely think of Paris,
if at all.

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