Paper Cuts

I hoped you wouldn’t notice

The telltale finger gashes

The hours I spent

Learning how to make

A simple paper crane

I hoped it looked effortless

As I reshaped the letter

you kept reading, and rereading

All week.

By now, I knew the routine:

Five o’clock, park swings.

You would unfold the missive,

Read it out to me

Ask if you missed anything,

Any clue,

Why she left

And once again,

I would shake my head

Wishing there was something

I could do

To ease your pain.

Today, when you asked

What the hell she meant

I took the offending letter

from your hands

I folded, and aligned,

And folded again

Till her razor-sharp words


Into wings

(What I really wanted to do

Was tear up the letter

Into tiny pieces

and assemble them into

a thousand cranes

so you could make

a wish;

But I knew

I would never be forgiven)

With a silent bow

I tucked the bird

in your hands

Only for you to promptly unfold my art

back into the shape

of your grief.

But that’s ok;

See you again tomorrow,

Five o’clock,