The jilted clairvoyant.

Author:Bowers, Neal

If, when you look at your hand,

the first thing you think of is "wave,"

you are destined to say good-bye

to everything you love,

hello to the horizon.

If you think "grip" or "hold,"

your hated will turn a wheel

to steer you somewhere else.

Think "fist" and you will fight

to leave; "caress," and your departure

will be tender.

Nothing suits a finger better

than a map, so many roads to trace,

towns to point to,

and the thumb lifts easy

as a blossom by the highway,

the hand articulate in any language.

Feel how your knuckles curve

to fit the suitcase handle,

the doorknob, the railing at the terminal,

your hands hanging still by your side,

waiting to catch onto anything,

to be gone.

NEAL BOWERS, Professor of English at Iowa State University, is the authur of Words for the Taking: The Hunt for a...

To continue reading