What Can My Left Hand Say?

In response to We Write Poems’ Prompt #74, which challenged us to write a poem with our left hand. It wasn’t as bad as I thought… I even went back to revise with my left hand 😀

What Can My Left Hand Say?

Like a young heart learning to write
by rote, by repeating the correct
placement of letters,
fingers focus on the scrawl
and the patient loops that intention
has to bend unhurriedly
the pace of reflection likewise lulled
to a painstaking craft
the shapes of the words as
when I used to copy lines
as a child just to rehearse
the texture of ball bearing on
clean paper and the authority
of recycling what others meant
so I could practice with unsteady hand
what I wanted to mean
or what the blueprint
of each sound in each thought
wanted me to signify


10 Comments on “What Can My Left Hand Say?”

  1. nan says:

    Superb attention to the process! I love “fingers focus on the scrawl and the patient loops that intention has to bend unhurriedly.” Perfect description. I also liked the attention you paid to the physical act of writing and “the texture of ball bearing on clean paper.” I remember when writing this way was more urgent — to quickly get down what I wanted to say — meaning from the inside out. Going with non-dominant puts that into slow-mo! So interesting!

  2. margo roby says:

    I love this. You have created a pace that follows the rhythm of learning to write, and of thought unfolding with each movement of pen on paper.

    And they have stopped teaching cursive in some states. Woe.

    margo

  3. Ruth says:

    You have articulated with careful, poetic focus my own (occasional) experience with non-dominant hand-writing. Love the final lines (about meaning) especially:

    so I could practice with unsteady hand
    what I wanted to mean
    or what the blueprint
    of each sound in each thought
    wanted me to signify

    and again especially, “the blueprint / of each sound in each thought”. I feel you’ve captured something significant there (though I’m not sure I can articulate it)…

  4. wayne says:

    nicely done and thanks for sharing your words

  5. vivinfrance says:

    This took me back to kindergarten at the convent and spending hours rubbing a finger over the sandpaper letters on cards to fix the letter shapes in the mind. A lovely poem, that goes right to the heart of the prompt. Bravo.


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