Ode to My Hands
By Tim Seibles
Five-legged pocket spiders, knuckled
starfish, grabbers of forks, why
do I forget that you love me:
your willingness to button my shirts,
tie my shoes--even scratch my head!
which throbs like a traffic jam, each thought
leaning on its horn. I see you
waiting anyplace always
at the ends of my arms--for the doctor,
for the movie to begin, for
freedom--so silent, such
patience! testing the world
with your bold myopia: faithful,
ready to reach out at my
softest suggestion, to fly up
like two birds when I speak, two
brown thrashers brandishing verbs
like twigs in your beaks, lifting
my speech the way pepper springs
the tongue from slumber. O!
If only they knew the unrestrained
innocence of your intentions,
each finger a cappella, singing
a song that rings like rain
before it falls--that never falls!
Such harmony: the bass thumb, the
pinkie's soprano, the three tenors
in between: kind quintet x 2
rowing my heart like a little boat
upon whose wooden seat I sit
strummed by Sorrow. Or maybe
I misread you completely
and you are dreaming a tangerine, one
particular hot tamale, a fabulous
banana! to peel suggestively,
like thigh-high stockings: grinning
as only hands can grin
down the legs--caramel, cocoa,
black-bean black, vanilla--such lubricious
dimensions, such public secrets!
Women sailing the streets
with God's breath at their backs.
Think of it! No! Yes:
let my brain sweat, make my
veins whimper: without you, my five-hearted
fiends, my five-headed hydras, what
of my mischievous history? The possibilities
not felt, rememberings un-
remembered--all the touches
untouched: the gallant strain
of a pilfered ant, tiny muscles
flexed with fight, the gritty
sidewalk slapped after a slip, the pulled
weed, the plucked flower--a buttercup!
held beneath Dawn's chin--the purest kiss,
the caught grasshopper's kick, honey,
chalk, charcoal, the solos teased
from guitar. Once, I played
viola for a year and never stopped
to thank you--my two angry sisters,
my two hungry men--but you knew
I just wanted to know
what the strings would say
concerning my soul, my whelming
solipsism: this perpetual solstice
where one + one = everything
and two hands teach a dawdler
the palpable alchemy
of an unreasonable world.
Monday was my catch-up day, except that I spent a lot of it hanging out at the mall with Paul (and, as it transpired, Adam's girlfriend, whom we ran into at the coffee shop) while waiting for our van's tire to be repaired, and I spent two hours figuring out how to hack my Kindle Fire to run Google Books and Google Music without having to root it and lose access to the Amazon cloud (score: Me 2, Kindle 0, am hoping that does not change after the upcoming software update). We found out today that Adam came in third in the Washington School of Photography high school photo contest, which is great news considering that he's only a sophomore. He went to see his girlfriend after tech at school and I finally met her father, having met her grandmother with her in the mall.
Since Adam was out for dinner, we had pizza, then he came home and had some of it too and we all watched Terra Nova which is probably about to get canceled now that it's really interesting. We watched Merlin's "A Servant of Two Masters" -- yes, we are very behind -- while I tried to catch up on birthday correspondence and posts (please please tell me if I managed to miss one). And now we are watching Colbert, who just said, "Newt Gingrich says he's against gay marriage. That explains why it's the only type of marriage he hasn't tried," which does not top Stewart interviewing Ben Franklin about Christmas and saying of the latest Republican debate, "This is awesome! A Mormon gambling with an evangelical over who's the bigger liar!" Here are some photos from my fabulous Sunday in Richmond:
And here I am at Agecroft Hall with Father Christmas...
...where Signora Bella balanced on a slack rope while juggling flaming torches.
Plus there was Morris dancing.
Lin, Delta, Paul and I posed in front of the Virginia Is For Lovers sign at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden...
...and in the conservatory in front of one of the Christmas trees.
The conservatory also had an exhibit of animals and plants based on a children's book, The Old Tree.
And here is the outside of the conservatory with GardenFest reindeer.