you are the callus covered
splinter buried at the base
of my right index finger
I thought I could ignore
my way to immunity
from the dull pain
trapped beneath the surface
but two Saturdays ago
when I was walking past
the baker’s stall
at the farmers market
and she grasped my hand
to draw my attention
to the pain d’epis standing
like wheat stalks in a field
I was dismayed
to find that each press
of her palm into mine
produced a twinge
echoed in the center
of my chest