I burnt my fingers the other day

By Joshua Riley

I burnt my fingers the other day

I had put a pot in the oven to bake some chicken or something

And took it out with a brown potholder and set it on the stove

The handle hung over the edge of the range when I heard my toddler bounding into the kitchen

I doubt she is tall enough to even reach for such a thing,

But without thinking I grabbed the handle and shoved it further back

My fingertips were scorched – now smooth as I touch them to keys of my keyboard

The finger prints are gone from my index finger and part of the thumb

The finger prints will return with some later coat of skin

I touch them now against the keys and think how I hadn’t then

My daughter would have had the same injury as I do now

Some unknown part of my heart would rather I take the burn instead of her