Barbara Brooks – Mothers Stapler – 5

Mother’s Stapler
by Barbara Brooks

It sat on her desk 
black as a snake, waiting

It had a line at the hinge and padding on the bottom 
gray as her hair.

Like fangs, the staples stood ready to bite into the collection of paper,
she stacked the papers just so; placed them on the silver foot pad.

The fangs descended and tried to capture the sheaf in its just-so-way
but the stapler caught her finger.

The blood sprang from the two tiny holes
with tears in her eyes, she pulled the staple from her finger.

I was sure that it hurt 
she did not cry, just blotted the puncture holes with a tissue.

The coil reset, waited for another try
she re-stacked the papers, put them into the stapler’s maw.

Her last words described how she lived:
no more tears.


Barbara Brooks is a retired physical therapist living in North Carolina and a member of the poetry group Poet Fools. She is an avid birder and has traveled extensively throughout the world viewing wild birds in their natural habitat. She frequently incorporates nature in her poetry as an extension of her love of the outdoors.  She has two chapbooks: The Catbird Sang and A Shell to Return to the Sea. She has had published poems in a number of eclectic journals such as Jellyfish Whispers, Tar River Poetry, Peregrine and Third Wednesday, Silkworm.