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A Heart-Bearing Thing

On NPR I heard that in Senegal food
tastes better if you eat it with your hands.

I think how that must be true
and of all my hands have touched:

tomatoes still clinging to vines, skins
split open from heat, carrots upended

from earth, zucchini muffins homemade
especially for me, hard cooked eggs

plunged in ice water then cracked
and peeled, soft pretzels still warm

to fingertips, salt coating lips and tongue
with a memory I can’t quite place

but there just the same. The hands have
a longing to be made bare as though

they know that what was once held
and by whom and what’s yet to come

can’t be comforted by spoons or forks,
as if allowed to pass over earth’s

cool shadows and dew-laden grass
along sunlight, moonlight, half-light

brushing a sweet and a savory
they will settle at last

on a heart-bearing thing like a melody
that opens to unencumbered hands

the mind drifting to what the hands—
like slips of paper,

promising as sails hoisted—have dared
and to unfurling winds and scrolled bark.

It’s hard to say now who touched whom
the wind or me the water or me

the birch or which
reached first for the other.

Sandra Fees resides in Reading, Pennsylvania, and was named Berks County Poet Laureate in 2016. In 2017, she had chapbooks published by Five Oaks Press and Finishing Line Press. Her recent work appears in the anthologies, Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice and Bards Against Hunger, Pennsylvania, and is forthcoming in SOFTBLOW, COUNTERCLOCK, and The Aurorean.


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1 Comment

  1. Franci Louann

    Very fine! I like your couplets & your enjambment! & they found the perfect photo for you.

    We share this site / publication & I like my photo too.

    Finishing Line Press – that got my attention. Meant to send some thing there one time… 🙂


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