Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt suggested taking a line from someone else’s poem to use as a starting point for your own. What an interesting exercise! So naturally I decided to combine it with the Poetic Asides prompt to write an “exercise” poem. ** The opening line comes from “A Hand” by Jane Hirshfield.
A hand is not the thick thatch of its lines
with their infinite dramas,**
or the hardness, length or polish of its nails.
A hand is not defined by everything it’s touched,
or everything it’s wished to.
A hand is a tool, for work fine or heavy,
and that it feels makes the work
possible, wonderful or unbearable.
And it shouldn’t take practice,
yet it does
to reach it out, offer it up,
to lift, pull, hold,
let the purpose in the fingers
overrule the jaded brain
when it chides:
you alone can’t make a difference.