The Beauty of Hands

Aesthetics of skin, nails, knuckles, bone
Does not exist in
The beauty of hands
Lending help when needed is seen.
Pulling a bloody tourniquet tight
in the midst of battle,
Swinging a hammer
to build a house,
Raking earth
to plant a garden,
Painting
a work of art,
Cradling
a child to sleep,
Caressing
a lover’s skin.
A lifetime of doing is the beauty of hands.

Trails

Set out years ago
Dropped breadcrumbs
Some no bigger than dust particles
Of the soul
Along the roads and paths
Thought I’d find my way back,
There’d be time
There’d be years
Be months
Weeks
Days
Seconds
Left before the sand
Absconded with the hourglass
To find the trail of dust and crumbs
Sweep and pour them
Back into the soul
Add a few ingredients
Create once more
From the beginning

 

But birds and squirrels
Feasted on the leavings
And I’ve no desire
To return to where I started.

 

 

Dance

 

I knew how to dance once.
Didn’t have to think
about the placement of feet,
a way back when the movement
of elegance and grace,
of heat and passion,
of fun and joy
was all rhythms
I could hear and follow,
Reveling in the feel
Before a shoulder snapped out of joint,
Hanging limply at my side,
And I unlearned the lessons of dance,
Unlearned all the intricacies
Of the Argentine,
Unlearned the grace
Of the Viennese,
Unlearned the joy
Of doing double time.

Unlearned everything of dance
Until I barely remembered
I once knew how to dance.

Then I tried to learn The Texas Two Step
And failed and failed and failed
Couldn’t feel the steps and glides
That looked so easy, so fun
And I wondered if I ever had known
How to really dance.
Maybe once, a long time ago,
I could have mastered this,
This Texas Two Step dance.

Trash at the Curb

Trash by the curb
Cardboard boxes nested
One within the other
Standing upright, resting
Against the edge of the smallest,
An old collage Walmart picture frame,
Matting included,
Old photos still within the frame,
A wedding, a first baby then a second,
Graduations and first cars,
Pictures telling a story of a family,
Colors faded by the sun
Having spent years by a window

Cleaning

To clean a heart and soul,
the way we clean a house:
scrub away
the grime and grease,
bleach away
the mold and mildew,
polish away
the dusty dullness,
vacuum away
dirt and dust
and leaves and grass
tracked in on muddy
dog paws,
who then shake wet fur
all over the floor,
yes, even vacuum away
all the hair shed upon the floor
by dogs and you,
then mop away
dried dirt,
straightening and organizing
as you go.

Then rest,
enjoying the gleam and shine
before opening the door
to visitors once more.
Yes, if only a soul
Could be cleaned
So very easily.

Joy (for my daughter)

Joys in the morning
Coffee and a cigarette
Then a run
Under the blistering
Texas sun
Simple things
Coffee, cigarettes, a run

Yet another year looms
And older I become
A year stretched out
Like a blanket
Of meaningless days
Thoughts of what will be
When my blanket of days
Is folded and finally
Put away

To rest
Content
Having found
Some thread of meaning
Unraveling from all the threads
In this blanket of days
To pull the thread,
Letting the others fall away,
Hold it close,
And say,
“This was enough.
Yes, this was, indeed,
Enough.”