When a girl in our school lost a finger in Wood Shop,
Mr. Cline cut from a stray pine board
what he sometimes called a prod, sometimes a handle.
No longer would a student in his shop class
push by hand
any board through a circular saw.
he asked me what she was doing taking Wood Shop.
This was still the sixties,
and a girl in shop was way beyond him.
What point, he said,
that women could lose fingers too?
with a pine bookcase, badly sanded,
that wobbled on its legs.
a girl in a front row desk,
her ring finger bandaged with gauze.
the intricate proofs
unraveling behind her eyes.