Newly lain on paper anvil with wet smears
of legal ink, believing they are blacksmiths.
Time will shape them like swords
with lengthened tangs, sharp edges honed,
pounded clean in a trouble-fire
red hot with mortgage, student loans,
children and in-laws
and each other.
Cooling pit - bed well-worn
and hands that know
where all the secrets dream
in a beveled state of grace.
Some perish in the heat,
some become art -
ancestral pictures on a wall -
finished and proud,
with matching smiles
of gritted steel.
Pictures cannot reveal the process
so the children marry
and cry Ouch and Oh, my God
as the hammer comes down.
Life will teach them to join hands, love the fire.