He gave you a small bakery box
but didn’t reveal its contents,
didn’t warn you to handle
the grenade inside with paralyzing care.
Now I take it from your aching fingers
and shake the cardboard square—
never did have the patience
for a pendulum descending—
but the grenade rolls around in the dark,
pin securely in place. It holds its breath,
waiting for me to blink.
M. Stone is a bookworm, birdwatcher, and stargazer living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her poems have appeared in San Pedro River Review, UCity Review, and numerous other journals. She is the author of the micro-chapbook Evolving God (Ghost City Press) and the chapbook Lore. Find her on Twitter @writermstone and at www.writermstone.wordpress.com.