Hand-me-downs – Karen Dennison


Last night I had that dream;
I was being chased but my feet
were set in concrete. And waking,
my thumb is jerking like a tadpole hatching.

Half-asleep, I picture my grandfather
shrinking in a tunnel of hallway.
He tries to shift a leg but his soles
have grown roots that burrow the carpet.

His left hand twitches at his hip, fingers bent,
twig-stiff. His right is bud-tight, a wax-white fist.
It’s then I wonder, thumb grazing palm,
if he’s given me his hands, their terrible gift.


Karen Dennison’s (kdennison.wordpress.com) poetry has been published in magazines and anthologies. Her first collection, Counting Rain, was published by Indigo Dreams in 2012. She has designed several poetry collection book covers and is co-editor of Against the Grain Poetry Press.

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