May 27, 2011

I Am My Hands

Prompt from Poetic Asides: priorities
The idea for this poem, found in the refrain, came to me about a month ago. Everything I love doing involves my hands. Writing, playing the piano, scrapbooking, cooking, holding hands with my husband... they all require hands. And so in a way, they define my priorities, my hobbies, my loves. They express who I am on the inside.

They waltz along familiar keys with
graceful collision and passionate whispers,
gently caressing those eighty-eight notes,
dancing out words from twenty-six letters,
choosing colors to abstract their world in
watercolor phrases, free verse melodies:
I am my hands.

Captivating sunlight, composing a home,
crafting a well-worn house into coziness,
carving smiles with curtains and canvas;
stirring love into homemade suppertimes,
laughter into cake batter and cookie dough,
life into canned soups and boxed macaroni;
arranging, composing, harmonizing each room
into a lyrical refuge from discord, a haven:
I am my hands.

Fingertips, knuckles, thumbs and palms,
each their own royalty, each individual
part of the whole, the voice of my soul;
I am my hands.


  1. Elizabeth, I like the idea of this poem and the way you carried it through. I think this is my favorite poem of yours that I have read so far.

  2. I love poems about hands! well done.

  3. A lovely ode to your hands - and all the wonderful things you do with them. I love "composing a home" - this is so wonderful coming as it does after the first stanza filled with composing music and poems.