Monday, May 17, 2010

Letting the Side Down

Brick Art by Nathan Sawaya

Letting The Side Down

I am making a map of my left hand –
drawing a line past my wrist, around
the starburst of thumb and fingers.
I circle in nails, mark the flex of tendons,
folds of knuckles, each freckle and vein.

I want to have something to remember it by –
this useless hand that cannot write, or eat
alone, or catch a ball, this hand that shrinks
from meeting people, that sometimes hides
beneath tables and curls to a limp fist.

It is less than my left foot, my left eye;
at least they have a go at competing
with the right; this hand doesn’t even try,
it trembles with the grip of scissors,
fumbles at doors, a full cup.

Stupid hand - I’ll be better off without it.
Look how confidently the right grips
a knife, not a tremor, not even when
steel breaks skin; how unselfishly
it wraps itself around the stump.

Lynne Rees
from Learning How to Fall

Posted over on Applehouse Poetry Workshop

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