My Old Man’s Homemade Dagger

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In a battered desk in the feed room of my grandfather’s store, I came across a knife my father had made – high school, I’m guessing, metal shop – a dagger with a bone handle, blade cut from a metal file.

It looked ugly, dangerous.

“Put that back,” he told me when I brought it into the store. He hardly glanced at the two-edged blade, good only for murder.

I was young, obedient. I put it back but have held it years in my memory, just as he must’ve held it in that desk drawer of rusted sockets and wrenches –

ugly, yes, but one of those things so well made we could hardly let it go.