I took a picture of the scar
gracing the base of my thumb,
half-inch white line where the v-tool slipped,
and posted it in the comments with the note
“Fond memories!” J.B. upped the ante—
he’d sliced the tip of his clean off on a bandsaw.
Phil said he still has the spice rack he made
and four people commented, “Me too!”
and three more people added their stories
of sliced fingers and burns from the kiln
and it was all, we agreed, just a little bit
too unattended, it would never fly today,
which we also agreed was maybe a shame.
Somebody joked she’d made a cutting board –
nothing to do but sand and stain –
because she was afraid of the tools.
I had been carving a heart-shaped bowl,
scooping out coils of sweet-smelling wood,
when the gouge slipped. When I showed the teacher,
Mr. R told me I should have been more careful.
Seventh grade woodshop was where I learned
how to handle a drill and a circular saw,
to measure twice and cut once, the value
of a clean workspace. It was where M. called me
flat as that cutting board and three boys laughed.
That was where I learned that my body
was a thing to be commented on,
that my scars were of my own making,
that if I happened to slice my hand,
I should try to hold it higher than my heart.