Stephen Mead writes about the hands of one particular man and, in so doing, explores the many roles which men can play.
Veins on the backs of & then,
God, the notion, of man’s best backs,
The shoulder slopes, the blades
Which say everything
Given the particulars of weight
For the holding, & all that’s been held,
Carried so much before.
I know you have brought fallen children forth
Quite as a mother might, from so many rooms.
I know you have been secure as a door
Sometimes so uncertain of opening & so
Thoroughly accustomed to closures unspoken.
Me too, man-woman enough
There in my hands of laundry bags, my hands
Of dishwashers loaded & diapers changed &
Whole warehouses of furniture crowded
On the mansions of backs, the arms as
Lord, with this much in common
We should move as one
In waltzes of white feathers’ ease
Massaged in a loop of shoulders to chests…
But we stand apart, letting distance settle
Close as a glow in the eyes.
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