Because Grandma
grew old twiddling
thumbs, hands clasped, eight
fingers locked together neat
as a carpentry join,
thumbs barreling round
and round, over and
over in useless activity
releasing the blocked energy
— the hint was there.

Yet I lived without noticing
how fingers on walls continually
point the way. I too
not as half as old as Grandma
embarrassed in company
clumsy, open palms dangling
figeting — never knew what to do
with my hands. Even in wearing
of that new symbol "ugly
as a boxer's glove" I thought.
But oh when "What do you
do all day?" He said again,
I answered back suddenly
to feel strong

and wondering, gazed down
astonished at the miracle of
fingers become fists — as if
they also knew
— now, at last, what to do!


From Green Left Weekly, May 15, 2002.
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