Skip to main content

‘This Living Hand’

Somehow, when young, I never thought about the way
my body did its job, for it was fit and strong,
quick to recover from abuse, so day to day
its working parts, like friendly neighbours, got along

and I had other things to do. But now that love
is all I have to do, I’m studying the skin
stretched on my hand a few protective cells above
the branching blood flow and my skeleton,

links in a whole concatenation — mortal me —
which while I — mental me — was otherwise engaged
has tenanted this breathing building faithfully
and kept the lights on as its absent owner aged.

Now mental me requests that mortal me will grant
a few more years before I’m changed to ash or mould.
Give me a few more years with her whose touch I want.
You see this goose flesh? And I am not (not yet) cold.