I hadn’t thought that my children’s children’s children
would whimper at splinters, or wear “braces” on their teeth,
as I opened my journal and appended my latest account
to the others, relating my experiences in The War
as calmly as if the lost hand I wrote of was not mine.
Returning to the mountains I lifted up my eyes
to trace the chicken hawk’s hanging, gilding, loops,
and gave thanks for my fortune to be returned alive.
I studied life’s medicine and doctored many men
and women, and children — seven of my own —
and none complained my left hand was a hook.