Hands
    Beverly Jackson
Just give me a hand
to hold
I donít need conversation
or shoulders to dampen
with tears. Vipers
writhe about our ankles.

Thinking people want
to understand
so they talk.
They say
nothing happens in a vacuum.
They say
the sins of the fathers
waft like ghosts through the smoke
of fallen towers.

So no. Donít speak.
Donít tell me more.
Iím glutted with blame games--
the mea culpa.
They say
the snake striped
in red white and blue
slithers
across historyís deserts.

But:
          My father sat in the tail of a B-17
          and his hands went cold
          as he fell from the sky.
          wrapped in a flag,
          buried in France,
          a national hero,
          you see.

          Purple hearts
          swaying on ribbons
          do not beat.

Serpents coil in blood
And rise to strike again.

Iím an old lady,
a fatherís child,
with hands
already chilled
and empty.


 
 
 
 

In Posse: Potentially, might be ...