by Ginger Graziano

She took it when she left,
holding its heft in her hand,
the iron head with the two
claws ready to pull out nails,
jimmy open stuck doors.

When he brought the children back,
he hid the hammer under his coat.
Fled down the stairs.

Since she still had a key to their house,
she retrieved it, placing it with
the other tools in her new toolbox.

Again it was gone.

They scowled at each other.

She unlocked his back door,
hunted through the chaos—
stereo missing its speakers, his half
of the sectional couch, cabinet filled
with good china and leaded glass—until
she found it propped against the window
in their daughter’s empty bedroom.

Ginger Graziano moved from New York City seventeen years ago. Her heart still soars every time she sees the mountains. Her memoir See, There He Is, was published through Free Bird Press in 2015. Two chapters from her memoir were published in Stone Voices and Ball State University’s online magazine, Embodied Effigies. Excerpts from her memoir are included in the anthology, Writing In Circles, The Art of Soul-Making. She creates graphic designs for regional and national clients, as well as sculpting clay figures that tell her their stories.

About Hammer—Hammer began as an extended metaphor written for a class assignment and morphed into an elegy to the end of a marriage.