"They’ve had a full life, rich with friends"

More Perihelion:

Bob Sward's Writer's Friendship Series

Book Reviews

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Issue 15: To the New

Issue 14: The Double Issue

Issue 13: Free Form

Issue 12: The Necessary Ear

Issue 11: The Necessary Eye

Issue 10: Out on a Limb

Issue 9: The Missing Body

Issue 8: The Lily

Issue 7: Passages

Issue 6: No More Tears

Oswald LeWinter

My Hands

        From Body Parts

My hands, cupped, can’t hold air,
not even tiny doses. They have been fists,
when young, that sometimes struck strange faces.
They’ve also loved, caressed breasts, fondled
children, wiped away indignities of bruises
and picked up newborn sons to hold up
to the sun. They’ve had a full life, rich
with friends like the ten fingers that reached
out to the world. They’ve held a violin,
a gun, a hunting knife, the steering of a mountain
bike, the wheel of new car, proudly.

They’ve palmed pistachios, holding the exotic
odors to my nose, and held dollar notes
in their grip, while letting coins slip
through their crevices. Choices of ties
and colored shirts might have remained closeted
thoughts without them but they never asked
for more than to belong to wrists with wrinkled skin.
No sense of their cardinal importance,
they demonstrated great humility and clasped
whatever hands reached out to them in peace.

They have no voice, yet they are capable
of fashioning the most eloquent gestures, and casting
shadow images of small bird’s heads on empty walls.
I will be proud of the fine lines that crease their palms
until the day they rest, one on the other, on my chest.