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Poetry Magnum Opus

Mano y Mano


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He lifts his left hand to shade his eyes from painful late rays.

The edges of his blunt fingers glow with a golden tan.

With new-found interest, and the light detailing every wrinkle,

he turns the hand slowly for examination.


He suddenly realizes that his hand has become his father’s hand,

complete with blue veins across the back of parchment-like skin.

Viewing the hand as though unattached to himself,

he recalls the boy wondering at the malformations of an old man’s hand.


He is reluctant to raise his right hand,

knowing the sameness of inexorable heritage,

and instead, touches his wrist with two fingers

to feel blood pumping along thin pathways.


He lowers his hands as waning light slides behind building clouds

reflexively clutching at dim memories, hiding his palms from too-close speculation.

Balling both fists in defiance of the way of things, his thoughts turn back

to the hard labor of his father’s hands, and he finds new value in his heritage.


Carrying my father’s hands like relay batons, I thrust them out to my children,

that they might raise them in a distant late light and wonder again.

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Frank E Gibbard

Terrific narrative of true emotional transposition of your father to son to offspring generational context. one of your best IMO. Frank

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Badge, thank you--your kind words matter. Frank, hello. Welcome praise indeed.

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For a moment there I thought the son was reflecting on his advance towards his own mortality


"wondered at the malformations of an old man’s hand"

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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This seems to me, a prose poem. It might be better received if presented that way.


Either way, I can relate . . .



(Try a little cortisone cream on those dry spots. It helps. / ;-)

from the black desert

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Okay, it's a prose poem. Maybe I should have put up a warning. Anyone want to move it, be my guest. Everything in its place. As for dry skin, the best cure is not to use antibacterial soap. Kills the good guys too. Doc and Joel, thanks for your thoughts.

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I missed this one earlier. It's unusual but significant subject matter fascinates me. As an oldster my own hands are frequently in contact with my small granchildren's hands. They love the walking fingers but I soon shift when they try thumping the spiders dead. :biggrin:

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Spiders, yes. For me they have spun their webs on ankles with the swelling of feet. Maybe because I sit on my butt too much. The thing I remember from childhood is that I never gave a thought to becoming old. Thanks. Don't let those kids get within "whacking" distance. :o

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