What a piece of work is man…
he wipes his arse with the same hand
that feeds the mouth
caresses where a lover bares
a soft landscape to rest the eye.
A hand alert, most necessary
to love’s demands, most tenderly
raises a heartbeat, quickens breath
calms rough waters, hand at rest.
It writes and does the daily grind
pulls in cash and does the wash.
That self-same hand admonishes
and when persuaded to be kind
can bless bowed heads, or put to sleep
grasp a hand flung in its path
with promises to love and keep.
How does the hand find such a shape
gloved or common like an ape’s
that fiddles with its private parts
routs bold fleas where they adhere
to flea pursuits behind the ear?
Repairing wounds and broken troth
the hand engages, sometimes loath,
lights up the gloom and grants reprieve
drizzles sand as through a sieve.
But when that hand is cuffed or locked
in mortal combat, taking stock
falls victim to the cruel axe
can’t pay Caesar, play the sax –
it clamps the heart, shuts down the brain
feels indifferent to the rain.
Without the hand that wipes the arse
rocks the cradle, cuts the grass
how could I receive your gift
rekindle love, repair the rift?
Comments about this poem (Dexterous by Julian De Wette )
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