Skip to main content

The Strop

Molecules of steel float from the ivory-handled razor,
a shower of microscopic metal
that creates a permanent sheen
on the looped leather strop
his grandfather grasps with a scarred right hand.
The left hand guides the angled blade up and down,
over and over, restoring its cutting edge
one gentle stroke at a time.
Every day, the strop shrinks the razor,
eroding it as gradually
as the wind sharpens an Arctic dune.
 
The strop hangs through a ring
pinioned to the bathroom wall beside the sink.
It’s black and slick and shiny,
nicely sewn together with zigzag stitching.
But the boy there brushing his teeth
has no regard for the strop’s esthetics.
All that matters is its secondary duty as corrector
of obstinacy and other household felonies.
Each time his grandfather takes down the strop
to reinforce his commands, he whets
the boy’s rage one whistling stroke at a time.

(November 19th was the International Day on the Prevention of Child Abuse.)

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Thu Nov 29, 2007 at 10:30 PM PST.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Bob Johnson, cdreid, vicki, kid oakland, jillian, Cowalker, Common Sense Mainer, nolalily, melo, sheba, teacherken, GOTV, Joan McCarter, TrueBlueMajority, emptypockets, mimi, mattman, Susan Gardner, Bob Love, dengre, rincewind, scrutinizer, shayera, martianchronic, moira977, SallyCat, Norwegian Chef, exNYinTX, Vitarai, Paulie200, RubDMC, Mooncat, smintheus, ReneInOregon, sexton, bronte17, annrose, groggy, sarahnity, nyceve, srkp23, highacidity, shock, molls, Frederick Clarkson, Ignacio Magaloni, PoliSigh, edie haskell, David Boyle, aitchdee, Eddie C, Dube, nancelot, TexDem, oldjohnbrown, brainwave, grannyhelen, GN1927, betson08, AbsurdEyes, Eddie Haskell, barbwires, econlibVA, Hardhat Democrat, snowbird42, Marc in KS, marina, PBen, truong son traveler, Laurence Lewis, boofdah, Mz Kleen, bleeding blue, cfk, GreyHawk, sofia, Yamara, exmearden, Rydra Wrong, Anna M, LithiumCola, Tex Kosmaniac Dem Lady, Cory Bantic, Ekaterin, Dania Audax, noweasels, Over the Edge, Mehitabel9, occams hatchet, snazzzybird, Debbie in ME, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, Keone Michaels, BlueInARedState, borkitekt, Audri, KenBee, Wary, Partially Impartial, Flippant to the Last, tecampbell, birdbrain64, A Siegel, nonnie9999, lao hong han, condoleaser, FireCrow, NearlyNormal, CTLiberal, Cato come back, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Dreaming of Better Days, scoff0165, blueness, Downtowner, bstotts, BentLiberal, One Pissed Off Liberal, fisheye, Cronesense, jessical, DeannaHawk, offgrid, la urracca, Blue Waters Run Deep, Owllwoman, operculum, ezdidit, DWG, kenoyer130, joyful, gatorbot, lizpolaris, Coolwateroverstones, rrheard, JML9999, TexasTwister, TomP, ImpeccableLiberalCredentials, trivium, JayC, Indexer, bythesea, lineatus, Residentcynic, Morgan Sandlin, kyril, SpamNunn, CA Libertarian, DixieDishrag, Uncle Bob, Izarradar, leisure, deMemedeMedia, allenjo

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site