Honorable Mention - Those Old Fans of My Youth
by Ken Wheatcroft-Pardue

made with forged and tempered steel
(spilling its white phosphorescence
in a sooty Pittsburgh circa 1965)
with those propeller-shaped blades
that were sharp enough
to chop our little digits plum off,
just as well as any white-apronned butcher,
on blood-stained sawdust,
meaty fingers wrapped around his dripping cleaver.

Our blood would surely spurt out
like an untapped oil derrick,
Spindletop, all over again,
and just as sure, all our female
relatives--the oddest assortment of married and spinster aunts,
grandmas and cousins twice removed--would faint
at the sight of our fingerless hands.

And, then, of course, where would we be
with no fingers to dial the operator?
And shouldn't we have thought about that
before we did what we oughtn't?

Illya's Honey Literary Journal

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