Right Hand

The blood won’t wash —
see how it rests
like rust
in the folds.
And crackling wires
sputter and miss
all the messages.

But I have been
a witness to the magics
it has made —
with string,
with dirt,
with keys and hammers,
ink and the smoothed hue.

Now the wind whistles
along the wire.
I pretend
to feel it,
and fear to read
its lines of portent.

Fingers wave and fall,
one by one.
Clumsy and cluttered,
I call it to order,
bending bone to my will,
avoiding definition or diagnosis.
It’s later than it was,
but there’s still
a little light.

Written this morning at the red lights and shared for Open Link Night No. 87. Head on over and get your poetry fix, friends.


About Emily

I may or may not have: A. Dirt B. Ink C. Paint D. Wool under my fingernails.

11 responses to “Right Hand”

  1. Sabio Lantz says :

    I read it a few times but could not understand the metaphor(s?): the wire, the hand, the keys, the blood. Any hints? I thought “Piano”, then “Telegraph” then “Arthritis” (wires being nerves). Any help?

  2. Grace says :

    I hope your right hand gets better ~ I shrink with impending diagnosis but I hope there is good news at the end ~ Wishing you Happy day ~

  3. claudia says :

    a witness to the magic.. and still a little light were the keys here for me…the holding on to hope..

  4. Laurie Kolp says :

    Sending healing thoughts your way.

  5. brian miller says :

    really a moving piece…esp the diagnosis part…mixed with the blood leads me to a bit of concern…the bit of magic like a miracle is the bit of hope for me in this…..

  6. Tony says :

    I love the stanza about the magic made by the hand – beauty in art (string?), a garden (dirt) and music (keys and hammers). I do hope that things are not as bad as they sound from this poem.

  7. sir face says :

    Wow. This is incredible. You are very talented.

  8. Sabio Lantz says :

    So I see from the comments that others clearly saw this as an illness. Tony’s thoughts helped a lot too.

    So the diagnosis of poor blood flow (“blood won’t wash”), poor neural transmission (“crackling wires”) makes me think of Diabetes — but that hits both hands. Then I think a stroke (CVA). But the last stanza about “avoiding definition or diagnosis.” that puzzles me.

    And the third stanza is possible paresthesias or returning sensation after the stroke (or, another guess may be an MS flare).

    Ah, poems as puzzles. Thanx for letting me try.

    Ah, I see from other posts that you don’t respond in the comments, so I will stop following.

  9. Emily says :

    Hello, Sabio. I appreciate your struggle with this. I can’t tell you how much it means to me to see you (and everyone else) make an effort to understand.

    I usually like to let the reader bring his/her own thoughts to the interpretation of a thing, which is why you don’t see me respond much to comments here. But yes. Tony landed on much of what was going on in my head as I was writing.

    Everyone, thank you so much for your kind thoughts and words. I’m just fine for now. Starting to feel my age a little bit.

  10. charlesmashburn says :

    I was lost too. Kind of sounded like an accident, but wasn’t sure. Lots of mysteriousness in this one.

  11. Kodjo Deynoo says :

    There is still a little light

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