Treasure Island

Liilia Talts Morrison

(August 20,1937 / Estonia)

The Knife of Life


I had a knife in childhood
A villager had made
It's handle gleamed with birch wood
The sheath a darker shade.

When traveling through thick woods
I took this knife along
And when I found a willow
I whittled, whistling songs.

My father oft went stalking
For deer, the hunter's gift
He didn't mind the grunting
Of lives snuffed out so swift.

One day I saw a creature
Quite green and speckled fine.
I held it with my bare foot
And cut its tail and spine.

Its eyes still looked in wonder
At me, or so I thought.
I ran away. Abandoned
my knife, so cunning wrought.

The village calls me coward
A softie, ne'er do well.
They're right. But did they ever
Meet eyes with heaven and hell?

I'm older now and sadder,
I will not buy a knife.
At evening I still wander
To woods where I took life.

Submitted: Friday, March 30, 2007
Edited: Wednesday, February 09, 2011

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