Hands

(for Martin)

Five hundred miles
have wiped out the patterns
at your finger-ends,
the warm pockets of your palms.
I can't picture your hands

but I know they are
the bass line of a madrigal;
springboard that lets me go;
ample weight-bearing branches;
straight-furrowing plough.

Sometimes they look at each other –
don't they – and see
an insufficient thing.
But they're a Shaker rocking chair,
beauty and use balancing.

They're a quilt that's right
for every season; deep box
of preserved fruits; my elbow room;
map of the awkward universe;
the sight of home.


from Stitching the Dark: New and Selected Poems (Bloodaxe, 2005), © Carole Satyamurti 2005, used by permission of the author and the publisher

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