Bent

 

Bent

We’ve seen some version of the nail
curled over, the head angled at 90 degrees
or parallel to its body, just above

the penetration point. Three years ago
a tornado powered a single straw stem
through the oak’s bark and into its trunk,

illustrating the Old English beonet, for
“stiff grass,” and sadly conjuring the image
of a blade affixed to a firearm’s muzzle, the

etymology of which lies elsewhere, in Gascony.
And when we consider mental inclination,
signifying deflected, turned, or not straight,

we might also include an earlier past participle
meaning “directed in course.” But even the
tree’s armor could not deter the twister’s

wrath, and the hammer, no matter my aim
or purpose, seems intent upon glancing off
the nail, twisting it, leaving us, again, bent.

“Bent” first appeared in the print publication Ristau: A Journal of Being in January 2018.

10 thoughts on “Bent

    • The poem was drafted during the August 2015 Tupelo Press 30/30. The sponsor of the poem provided the title, and not knowing which direction to take, I decided to look at its etymology, which provided the poem’s spark.

      Liked by 1 person

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