My Right Hand

foto©fionacullen31032021

my right hand

my right hand holds the towel tenderly stroking dry

the pacemaker tucked neatly in under bulging skin

a pouch the surgeon made while I watched the film

the day before wires were pushed from my groin

through the aorta with a camera filming inside me

guided to my heart I watched its voyage on the screen

above my head — then the announcement made

all arteries and veins clear — “vena amoris”

I remember wedding rings on the heart finger

my right hand holds the black as night coffee

sticky as thick molasses swirling in the cup

my right hand holds the spoon, lifts the cup

my right hand holds the knife blade holds the axe

guides the spade drives the steel into the soil

holds the pencil strokes the dog dries the dog

my right hand picks up the phone, opens the front door

touches my mother’s face a foto taken one Christmas day

my right hand turns the key starts the ignition starts the car

my right hand holds your waist cups your breast feels your heart

fills another cup with coffee holds it out for you feels your warmth

my right hand rubs tears from my eyes rubs tears from your eyes

gently smooths your cheek this is the hand that has a tremor

left overs from car crash PTSD flash backs night sweats nightmares

today it stopped — yesterday my right hand didn’t shake at all

my right hand feels the smile on my face the grin feeling the emptiness

of another shielded day my right hand feels the warmth of the earth

my right hand an honest hand wrinkled with age with some scars

some used to be blue with coal dust, a silver scimitar on my right thumb

from an accident in the street when the bike skidded overturned

the day after the coal had been delivered to Mrs. Jones No 9

the fading blue has gone only the memory remains unchanged

may be its healing nerve ends reconnecting forgetting editing out

my right hand raised in a wave as I watch each child leave after a stay

drive away a too short visit close the door on a cold day my right hand

holds you holds your look of sadness holds you tight as I watch tears

fall for each child’s leaving feel you come into my arms my right hand holds you.

this is my right hand that has not shaken another right hand in greeting

for a year this right hand will open the door shake a strangers hand once more

this right hand waiting to be shaken and shaken again by someone else

the right hand of a friend, someone close, someone else — long absent

this right hand holds a voice on the phone perhaps a ghost on a screen

this right hand is waiting to be held feel alive to hold the warmth of someone

else

©robcullen10052021

foto©fionacullen31032021

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