the healing muse

Volume 9, 2009

After the Stroke

Antoinette Constable

She chooses the straight-back
chair she disliked when she was fine,
to sit by the window. Her right hand
searches for her left hand, loose
at her side, lifts it and guides it onto her lap,
the way she would a sleeping kitten.

She pets it from knuckles to wrist awhile,
but as soon as she lets go, that left wrist
flops over on its own. She lowers
her right hand, open, side by side with the other,
so that her palms are empty bowls set
on the blue cloth of her dress.

She sees her fish-cold, slightly
swollen hand at the end
of the broken pole of her left arm,
next to her good hand. She doesn’t
compare her hands, she doesn’t reflect
on that inertness.

Gazing down, she focuses
on the sand-like weight
and weightlessness of the morning
sun filling her hands, steadily
streaming out between
the hourglass of her fingers.

Return to Table of Contents, Volume 9, 2009.

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