A Hand Has Its Uses
Raised up, palm out, emptied of all but the visible gestures
of lines gone unread, a hand agrees to truth-tell.
Back and forth in a wave of white, a hand makes busy
With fingers curled tight, nails dug in, the fist a mechanical
pump raised or lowered in the air unseen, a hand works out
its angers, or claims its jubilations.
Pierced, a hand bleeds from the center out, its red line like water
flowing, a run to the wrist, the path an arm's length made.
Turned in and fitted close, near where the heart paces its rhythms
heard in pin-drop silence, a hand swears allegiance.
Reaching out, away from me to you, a hand accepts what friendship
Joined one to one not your own, bound by words said aloud
from a book ancient and black, a hand pledges love eternal.
Fingers threading fingers twisting, a hand in another gives motion
Tip to tip pressed, no space but the space where the light shines
in, two hands together hold more than prayers.
Lowered to the head, so gentle the touch, a hand a blessing gives,
releasing song on lips and words, later shushed by hand
to mouth, make whole again.
Lay hands one upon another, as Elizabeth to Mary did, as Mary
a helping hand gave, and retell the story from its beginning,
the miracle in this world with its right side up,
replaying once more the homecoming illuminated
after the waiting, in the greetings with hands from an open door.
© 2010 Maureen E. Doallas