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whittlin' away

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Below is the poem entitled whittlin' away which was written by poet Goode Guy. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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whittlin' away

whittlin' away
- an essay

I went to buy a pocketknife
recently for a preteen I know,
a small boy with wide dreams
and spaces to live in that match

The usual hardware haunt was
quite limited in its selection,
so I went online to find the perfect 
treasure for an eight-year-old

There was a wide array of
overpriced stilettos and bayonets
but nothing of simple sturdiness
for boys with a woodsman's mindset

So I went to the long-established
area gun and tackle shop in search of
a small locking blade that a boy 
could rub and oil and admire

The sales clerk showed me several
walls of hundreds of knives
that in all probability included 
a full-size replica of a Jim Bowie
broad knife with blood channel

I naively asked if they had any
not quite so - lethal 
He replied no, all they carried
anymore where "tactical" knives

I wondered what sort of tactics
a eight-year-old who might still 
think little girls were "icky" 
would be in need of contemplating

When I was a boy, all boys 
carried pocketknives as a point
of practicality, whittlin' away our
childhood, by shavings and curlings

The thought of hand-to-hand tactics 
regarded only to arm wrestling
and sneaking past authorities 
meant parents and teachers - to play

Tactically bypassing metal detection
and doing terminal bodily harm
to anyone was completely unknown
to our innocence and, too, to society

"Tactical" pocketknives for boys (or anyone)
is a present-day mindset of our own
fear- and bravado-driven selves
that we would sleep better without

Nine and eleven are odd numbers
that do not add up to an even world
Even though we profess better selves,
our current example falls short

Little boys know not, and should care not, 
for such murderous dreams.
I, too, care not for this.
It may be true, someday, if we, as people, will it

© Goode Guy 2012-10-13

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