Poem 5
from Five Buddha Poems
Deborah Kreuze

I'd positioned the point of the nail
at the center of the Buddha's upturned palm,
raised the hammer.

Took a breath.

Felt how heavy the hammer was.
Set down both hammer and nail.

The Buddha picked up the nail,
reached over, held apart my softened lips,
and fished a bit of spinach
from between my front teeth.