in Tears in the Fence;
anthology, My Mother
Threw Knives, 2006,
Light Publications, ISBN 0-9546934-1-8;
collection, a kind of
slow motion, 2007,
At forty, my mother
knives, sharpened Sheffield steel
ached to do their work.
glinted in her hand above the chopping board
sliced through vegetables and meat —
reeked of tripe and onions.
mother could hurl a knife with such precision
the rest of us could only stand and gasp, jaws open,
she pinned us to the sunflower kitchen wall.
was never any doubt that she was good.
mother honed her skill with hormones
practised every Sunday morning,
she cooked the roast and home-made apple pie.
forty, my mother threw knives — she
would pin an unsuspecting target to the larder door,
the collar or the sleeve, with one deft flick
I, at eleven, was filled with awe
her ambidextrous hands. I encouraged her in accuracy
was chosen as her assistant. I learnt to stay still.
mother threw knives. It was a harmless circus skill,
the words, which accompanied them, killed.