Knives in our house are razor-edged. Pa grinds
them round and round on a flint stone in a small pool
of oil, opaque and rheumy like his eyes
the day before he died. With them he carved
slivers of beef, ham, pickled tongue.
We grew convinced the guiding principle
of fine cuisine was everything sliced thin.
And yes, of course attenuation was the rule,
our food extended and our clothes to just
short of threadbare. They even eked out time,
wake at day-break and work till night come down.
Foolish me, thinking Pa and Ma would never not
be here, beneficent and provident as God,
creating out of nothing, conjuring from air.