walking from my grandmother's apartment
while my mother completed her Spanish goodbyes
rooted in Catholicism that our family had abandoned.
Something shiny caught my eye so I picked it up
to learn its nature as any child would have done.
My mother came screaming down the cement
once she saw what I'd found and grabbed.
I remember how she wrestled it
frantically from my hand.
The blood only came
when she tried to wrench it free
from the grasp that I so firmly
had placed upon my quarry
unwilling to let go of what right or wrong
The aptly named safety razor's
been mastered since then
though the principle holds true
as far as the taking and bleeding--
a lesson etched in fingerprints
for a payment other than cash.
"Blood Meridian" by Cormac McCarthy.