Blueprint of Hands

My father’s were knuckled
and worn from work,
played the game of snatching
at mine which darted out of his palms
like elusive fish

The way each grade school classmate
held their pen, how they wrote
fixed in my memory,
letters forming from the poise
of closed fingers, a fist
and an instrument

The labor of musicians,
each musician I was ever in love with,
a sound and an object
and battleground of movement

where gestures breathe, an open slap,
a goodbye or something held,
a search for an organ —
the tasks that only they know how to do
that they relentlessly learnt how to do,

construct bridges and open jars,
signal armies
point at foreign objects in the sky,
see and speak in the dark


We Write Poems’ Prompt #93, Fingerpainting

4 thoughts on “Blueprint of Hands

  1. I like how you span through the different imagery of hands.The elusive fish snatching is particularly delightful. That last photo is such a strong image.

  2. i love how familiarly tactile this poem is. each “task” you so deftly imprinted conjured a sensation that i knew deeply– “a search for an organ”, even the “labor of musicians”, which i know from 2 months of guitar strings jamming into my fingertips, and especially “the poise of closed fingers” around a pen– held so tightly for so long that it has its own painstakingly chiseled groove on the side of your middle finger. ouch. so, so familiar.

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