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A Noble Proverb
by Shirley Anne Leonard

      Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. — Proverbs 17:17

“Iron sharpens iron,”
so they say.
But what if I
am only made of clay?
Obliteration —
if I get in the way!

Iron sharpens iron.
So does stone
if rough, and with a
hardness all its own
to grind the weapon’s
cutting edge, and hone.

Iron sharpens iron.
Make me so
the wheel will grind
deliberate and slow,
and sparks will not inflame
emotion’s glow.

Iron sharpens iron.
Let us talk
and mind the words we say,
lest they should walk
toward battlefields
and kill us on the way.

Published in the Compass


WestWard Quarterly

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