Three Generations Of Butchers

She had a chainsaw
always at the back of her throat,
idling with a buzzing grumble
until meat was offered,
whereupon it revved violently
and leapt, its shrill teeth
cutting to stumps
(with modern impatience)
anyone who dared her
petrol-powered tongue.

Her mother spoke differently,
hacking away with a measured,
methodical blade of irony,
taking her time
to enjoy every deep-cutting quip
from her old fashioned hatchet,
her generation knowing
the pleasures of a
long, hard day’s work
at a deliberate pace.

Her daughter had learned to lay
which cut as they caught
whomever wandered unknowingly
into her booby-trapped sarcasm,
hogtying them
as they were gobsmacked with surprise;
she practiced her needlework
with all the exactness
of her forebears
and pleased herself most
when she had reassembled them anew
with her precocious patchwork
of derisive judgment.

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