I had used the dullest knife,
when I first started working nights.
Cutting lemons and limes
Iced tea and diet cokes mostly.
I knew where the sharpest knife was.
And I took it and used it.
On the cutting board.
One lemon, sliced.
Limes. Limes. They were tricky.
Or maybe they weren’t tricky.
Maybe my mind was elsewhere.
Alone in its thoughts.
Not focusing on what it ought…
The knife left the lime and cut my finger like a magnet meeting its match.
I saw the knife deep inside.
My breath left my lungs, my mouth, my lips, my life.
The blood squirted, drained, dripped.
Yes, that’s all I said.
I had no sense to ask the chef to forgive my French.
Gag. Gag. Gag.
Tears or woozy, I’m not sure what.
But I couldn’t see anything.
Just my own blood.
Her arms caught me and helped me stand.
My hand was rushed to the sink by another man.
Spray. Sting. Wrap. Stick.
And then everyone went back to their stations.
I’m a rock!
I’m level headed.
I’m practical, rational, and maybe a little romantical.
But the blood took any courage I had collected for the day.
I thought I had lost what I needed, lost all of my strength.
But the baker held me by the shoulders,
Looking stern because I looked ashamed.
“It was scary and it hurt, but it’s done.
Now it’s all okay.”
And she held me tight.
And I felt everything would be alright.
And I also felt the bite.
At the end of my finger.
Under the bandaid.
The doors opened.
The first table sat.
I wiped my tears away,
And asked what I could get them today.
"A soda water," the man said.
"With a lemon and a lime."
And I smiled...And walked away as I rolled my eyes.