Look At Your Hands

Look at your hands.
What do you see?
Make something from that.
Those were the simple instructions.
So I followed: two dried pinpricks of 
blood from hangnails I worried, dog hair,
a scab that’s taking its own sweet
time healing, the gold band from
my sweetest friend, and blue rivers of
vein that render my hands topographic.
Look at your hands.
What do you see?
What in the world can you make from that?
Maybe a corny poem about how I long
longed to possess my father’s hands.
But I’ve come to see I have my own.
Twin fields formed from the plows I’ve chosen
and the particular affections that flow
from my heart down their blue rivers,
then back upstream.

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  1. jodyo70 on May 1, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    “blue rivers of veins that render my hands topographic.” I like that so much better than, ‘old hands.’

  2. agjorgenson on May 4, 2016 at 2:06 am

    My mom used to tell me I had my oppa’s hands. It keeps me going some days.

  3. Robert Benson on May 10, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    JOHN —

    While traipsing through my backlog of emails, I came across your call to have a look at my hands. I usually read your things whenever they arrive but somehow I missed this one. You had been on my mind for a day or so, as I am in the midst of doing the work it takes to get ready to speak another crowd of writers in a few weeks and I always think of you when I do. You are always in my jury box when I am doing such work — there are a few of you out there scribbling I do not want to embarrass myself in front of. Thank you for your scribbling, and thank you for this particular poem. My father is in the jury box always as well, and these days he has been much on my mind. Thank you for helping me to remember his hands, and take a closer look at my own.

    Keep punching holes in the darkness. NAMASTÉ —

    Robert Benson 2807 Brightwood Avenue, #A Nashville, Tennessee 37204 rbstudio2@me.com / 615.720.6838

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