The Ruby Handled Knife
This knife was my grandfathers near one hundred years ago,
He took it from a pirate whose sordid life he did forego.
Then he rescued a fair maiden from the hold of that black ship,
With singing blade he cut her bonds and in the water they did slip.
When they washed ashore at Dunbeath after three days in the sea,
He knelt right there and she answered him "Of course I'll marry Thee!"
He brought her to America, a new country rough and raw,
And she used the Ruby Handled Knife to cut the cord on my dear Pa.
The Ruby Handled Knife is worth far more than all its gems.
Its treasure is its history, how through our lives it wends.
Its jewel encrusted beauty will a crying baby charm,
Its blade and point, hilt and shaft keep us safe from harm
When Grandpa passed he gave the knife to his first son, my Pa.
Now Pa is gone the knife is mine and I often am in awe,
How this blade has played a stellar role in daily mundane life,
lending magic and enchantment to a lowly rancher's wife.
The Ruby Handled Knife marks the first calf each spring gather
It's the only knife to carve the roast upon the Christmas Platter
The Ruby Handled Knife pares mid -summers' premier peach
And it's been used a time or two, to extend a desperate reach
It's a comfort here, kept at my back, when faced by bad outlaw,
it saved me from a bloody end at the panther's deadly paw,
it cut the throat of a favored mount when no bullet could be spared
And it freed me from my stirrup when I became ensnared.
The Ruby Handled Knife will shave a callous or double as a spade.
It's put our name to each beam and post throughout this home we made.
It counts the years my husband died at each April's bright full moon
It's severed the cords of all my babes... and my will grandchild's, soon
The Ruby Handled Knife will one day pass from my hand to my son's
He, too, will keep it at his side until his race is run
And so, the Ruby Handled Knife will steadfastly intertwine
our History with our future, ever on through spans of time.
Nancy Ruybal 2010