What my father did was
he would take off his glasses,
put one bow end in his mouth,
so he could really look at the splinter in my finger.
With tweezers sterilized
in rubbing alcohol– tweezers my mother
and I used to pluck our eyebrows—
he would probe until he found
whatever it was that was stuck in me,
usually a bit of wood
slenderer than a match,
and then he’d take it out.
I said nothing.
Tonight my husband pours
rubbing alcohol on a nail clipper,
holds a scratched magnifying glass
above my index finger,
and he cuts skin until he finds
a raspberry thorn.
I’d been picking and eating with abandon
as if there wouldn’t ever be
anything left to remove.
I was wrong.
– refers from the phrase “I said nothing” in Sally Bellerose’s essay Ballast