A hand is strutting down the hall,
The fingers walking proud and tall.
A mighty bold and handsome hand,
With knuckle wrinkles oh so grand.
I'm sure some kid is missing that
When he reaches up to fix his hat,
With just a stub to tip the brim,
No digits top his rounded limb.
But hands like this don't need an arm,
Don't need a kid,
With all that charm.
The nicest hand you'll ever see,
It ought to be out running free.
Whose hand it is,
I'd like to know.
It's putting on a lovely show.
I recognize those fingernails,
And skin like me
So rough and pale.
Familiar hand of fine design.
I think it's mine.
I’m realizing as I post this that I have at least four poems about losing a hand. I’m not sure why my poems go that direction. Losing a hand isn’t so funny if I really think about it, so I avoid really thinking about it. I’m sure a psychologist would have something to say about it. I avoid those too.
I thought of this poem during a rather boring speech that I was required to listen to at work. I found my mind wandering and wishing something interesting would happen to kill the humdrum. As my eyelids were drooping closed for the tenth time I imagined a disembodied hand, like the one in The Addam’s Family, walking on fingertips through the hallway nearby. It was strutting its stuff and showing off like a model on a fashion runway as it passed the breakroom. People were cringing in horror and scrambling out of its way like it was a giant venomous spider, but the hand continued posing and strutting, unperturbed by the shrieking bystanders – a blessing of not having any ears or eyes. This idea got me laughing out loud. Thankfully, the meeting was a remote virtual one, like most work meetings these days, so the only person that heard me laughing was the fellow in the cubicle in front of me. He’s used to me talking to myself and making odd sounds, so it didn’t phase him at all.
Then I imagined the hand was my own. It had somehow snuck of the end of my arm and took off on an adventure. I passed the remainder of the dull speech entertaining myself by trying to type and drink soda with just my wrist. There were a few liquid spills and some indecipherable emails sent – and the beginnings of a bizarre poem. All-in-all it was a productive meeting.