To pull the metal splinter from my palm
my father recited a story in a low voice.
I watched his lovely face and not the blade.
Before the story ended, he’d removed
the iron sliver I thought I’d die from.
I can’t remember the tale,
but hear his voice still, a well
of dark water, a prayer.
And I recall his hands,
two measures of tenderness
he laid against my face,
the flames of discipline
he raised above my head.
Had you entered that afternoon
you would have thought you saw a man
planting something in a boy’s palm,
a silver tear, a tiny flame.
Had you followed that boy
you would have arrived here,
where I bend over my wife’s right hand.
Look how I shave her thumbnail down
so carefully she feels no pain.
Watch as I lift the splinter out.
I was seven when my father
took my hand like this,
and I did not hold that shard
between my fingers and think,
Metal that will bury me,
christen it Little Assassin,
Ore Going Deep for My Heart.
And I did not lift up my wound and cry,
Death visited here!
© 2012 Istvan Kerekes
I did what a child does
when he’s given something to keep.
I kissed my father.Li-Young Lee, “The Gift” from Rose. Copyright ©1986 by Li-Young Lee.
About Istvan Kerekes
In His Own Words
I have been a photographer since 2007. My favourite subject is The Man. I would like to show the souls behind the faces. Everyone has feelings, everybody loves and breathes. My subjects are usually ordinary people. My main aim is to show their personalities through my images. One of William Albert Allard’s thoughts on photos and photography is just like mine, I truly believe in it: “the good portrait is about the eye, the look, since the human soul is reflected in it the most purely.”When taking photos it is my heart that leads me. After I have tuned to the subject I act instinctively.
Istvan’s website: http://www.kerekesistvan.hu/
*Copyrighted images are posted with kind permission of the photographer.