Hanging Heart 2
By Athena

Every morning
as I drive my car
down the freeway
first the 5
then the 22
then the 405
hands on wheel
at 10 and 2
I see it

A tiny scar
where thumb
meets pointer
silver-white
and raised
ever so slightly
catching the sun
as my hands
chatter away
about this
or that
hardship
gossip
inconsequential
to now

Or even then
when the two of us
trembled
on hands and knees
before this rite
of passage
this channel from
callow youth
to parenthood
a first haircut
for our son

You go
I’ll hold
no you go
I’ll hold
I said
shirking the
unthinkable
responsibility
of making
the first snip
this not-quite-first
separation
from us.

And what a snip
it was
Orange fiskars
with six-inch blade
for hair so fine
I had to
bring my face
closer
to believe
it was
actually there.

Hold tight big guy
I said
it wont be a minute
reassuring myself
as much as him
the words serving
to prod my frozen
husband to action
I wrapped
my fingers
around his forehead
sheilding his face
so that bits
wouldn’t fall
in his eyes

The squared-off point
wavered
with my
husband’s resolve
I met his eyes
blue and pale
and in that moment
it was over
a small chunk
of my hand laid bare
red, raw
a memento
of the many firsts
that he and I
would share.

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