Day 17: Don’t make excuses, make poems…

The prompt today is to write a poem inspired by hands. (For more details, go to POETRYisEVERYTHING.)

I am reading a novel in which the characters
recognize one another not by their faces,
not by their expressive eyes,
their noses, their lips, not even by height

or the color of their hair or the sound of their voices,
but by their hands. By their hands.
It makes me feel incompetent.
My oldest daughter, I think, knew my hands best,

would scream when anyone else
picked her up. But would I know her hands today,
I mean, if they were all I had to go by?
I’m not sure I could recognize even my own mother

by just her hands. Meanwhile, across from me,
my youngest daughter is learning chords on the guitar.
She knots her left hand over the strings,
a freckle on her index finger.

Her fingers are shorter than mine. The nails
are short, blunt. I ask her to hold up
her hand, to show me her palm,
and she has an X dangling from her lifeline.

She strums E Minor, and then G,
then she looks up and catches me watching her.
She crosses her brown eyes,
sticks out her tongue.


No, I am not actually reading such a novel (maybe I will write it). And I am not sure this qualifies as a poem. It could be a prose free-write. Oh, well. Don’t make excuses, make poems! Tomorrow: an acrostic.