He raised the cleaver high above his shoulder
and brought it down at the joint with a thud
and clank, the blade forcing thru flesh and bone
to hit the metal table. I watched from the safe side
pretending to look at cuts of elk laying in the green
decorative plastic in his refridgerated case. He smiled
as he helped me choose a gift, laughing as he described
which was his favorite and why. When I asked if
it was an odd gift, he dimpled and said he would love
to receive it. His chuckle rose like fizz on soda when the next
question surfaced: how he kept his apron so clean
while dismembering geese, chickens, and lamb all day.
His answer trimmed the fat from all future queries –
he is good at everything he does. As I leave, he picks up
the knife again and follows me to the edge
of the counter to ask if I’m busy tonight.