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Holding Hands

By Brian Evans-Jones From Issue No. 5

Love—when you sat last night

in the old orange chair,  holding our baby

flat as a boneless doll in your lap,

and you told me about our daughter’s first morning at school—

how she went up to a girl in the corridor and said

Will you be my friend, and the girl said Sure,

and two new friends

danced off together—

as you pictured those two small beings for me

you raised your hands—let them fall—

drew curves, figures-of-eight, crescents, ogives

to show their dance;

and your hands

covering your bright green $3 shirt

turned red to me—

my retinal cones, tired out by the green, omitted it;

made your hands look as if you’d

dipped them in blood.

And I can’t think of a less right

thought for your hands, which hold

our baby at your breast till he sleeps,

make pizzas for snack time,

wipe tears and snot from noses,

catch crumbs, drinks, limbs,

and which if they are covered

are covered with dribble, spit-up, milk—

Perhaps what I saw was not blood on

but blood in—the red of you inside

as if I for once forgot

to stop at your skin and you showed me

what you are without show—

I don’t know

But lift up your hands

and give them to me.

About Brian Evans-Jones More From Issue No. 5