Poetry: Open Flower, Lament


By Dan Watt

Author of the e-books Ruby Queen and Sylvia (Children of the Myth Machine series) on Kobo.com.  E-books Lucy and the Snivel Chair and Learning the Garden of the Body on Amazon.com



Open Flower


She came to me with her mother as a teen

Shy and in a long blue wool sweater

With the left sleeve stretched and clenched in her hand

I told her I train people safely

She would have to pull the cuff over her hand


She sank into her mother’s arms

I did not kneel and speak softly

I did not smile cruelly

I just waited

Until the sleeve was pulled up


Her hand had only two fingers and a thumb

Not an accident but misunderstood medicine

Her mother blurted out

I said, holding out my right hand, “Nice to meet you”

She clenched her two fingers under her thumb and pressed her shaking fist, to her side

Now I stared into her eyes


“People will think I’m strange,” she said with wet streaks along her cheeks

I spoke softly, “That they will.”

She stared everywhere but my way

I said, “If they look, smile back and tell them why, then you are no longer strange

But hide your hand, it becomes suspect”


Her hand slid into mine and I surrounded it in the warmth of my grip

As we worked out in the gym, the first and tenth time, she shivered

She looked all over and kept her bare left hand near her side

I said then, “Come on your own, some days”


On the hundredth and one time I arrived early

In a corner I saw her chatting with a young man

At the end of the two hundredth time she showed me her ring

Smiling, I turned away to face a wall of mirrors

Where I saw, half in shadows, my own eyes


DW © 2000





I have seen all your tears

Heard all your cries

I think for a while

I’ll sit back and listen to your laughter


©DW 2014

One thought on “Poetry: Open Flower, Lament

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