To a hammer, everything looks like a nail—

It wants to pound out demands
for answers, to drive a point
into the wood’s knotted core.

Facets of stone may be blistered,
a force delivered in one blow or
in several. A sheet of metal

may be peened. But who wants
to be at the receiving end
of only one motion, to catch

the downstroke after the swing?
There are those who’ve learned
the art of mortising joints together

without metal, those who’ve mastered
a hundred ways to fold paper, to ink
with a brush the equivalent of a blow.

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