In My Hands

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In My Hands

Turn your palms up, she said,
open yourself to life!
Stressed people have palms clenched.
I know, I thought, 
each night on the sofa 
my hands thump down on my thighs
like felled trees
and sit in tight fists.

Her words I remember,
her face turned to mine;
open, quiet, offering:
this gift of release
of personal power, 
this gift of peace.
We lay on the floor next to each other;
in that moment I was the child,
she, the mother.

Now, I sit, flip my palm, 
un-curl fist;
a tiny gesture, a choice
and suddenly – bluebells!
A kid with real magic, I repeat, 
cup in my palm this fragile new energy;
eager, hopeful, vulnerable, 
curious as something new born.

Bright yellow flitting birds 
emerge from glossy green leafed trees,
pink petals rain down
over the deepest cobalt seas,
snowflakes, tender white
and charcoal nights 
of wonder and respite,
two people juggling clementines.

And red, red is a world 
of all the dangerous and magnificent things
and how to harness them –
like in a slip of kite-silk freedom
like in a puddle of poster paint
streaked in a gash across the white page
like in your heart sore and stretched
pumping out your rage – yet alive –
and in your tears – the way they
pour from your furious screwed-up red baby face 
cursing the air it has to now breathe
and the loss of its cosy floating home,
the helpless hopeless feeling
raging into the defeat, 
the letting go of the trapeze
and trusting there be something there 
to catch you but the breeze.
Like the vibrant must-have-grab of lust
and the will to use it.
Like the red flag to the bull
but the rooted feet to stand and face it.
And blood to keep us moving and vibing
and stretching and seeking and yearning and finding –

all this she gave me in my hands.

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