Adam Houle, "The Vine Knife"





Another strain in the fabric 

of days already chafed  

to corded threads. Like work 

pants I wore so long 

my vine knife’s heft 

rubbed through a belt loop.

That, for it, was that,


lost to rust in Elder’s patch

or dropped to a barroom floor 

once those last strings eased 

and the loop became a strap.    


The lack of its honest weight 

at my waist a grief that spiked

as I kicked a late melon’s skull.  

Harvest closed. Then came snow.



Adam Houle’s work has appeared in AGNI, Shenandoah, Cave Wall, Zone 3, the Best New Poets anthology, and elsewhere. He lives in Darlington, South Carolina.