closed hand #NationalPoetryDay

As it is national poetry day, here’s a poem I wrote some years ago… not sure if I’ve shared it here before or not. It is, in some ways, about freedom (this year’s theme) albeit in pointing out the lack of it…

closed hand

Why do we follow this circle round
of memories that lead to hurt?
(labelling them as ‘nostalgia’
as if they were benign
and caused no cancer to the heart.)
holding fast to that which was
the good and the bad in the palm
of a weary hand, rheumatic
with clinging so ferociously
to a collection of battered
antiquities and hopes, now dust.

is it wrong or somehow
disloyal – to exorcise the mind
of old demons encased in silver
boxes? to embrace the ‘now’
not ‘then’ (despite its beauty,
for a beauty faded cannot shine)?
risking fullness of life
for a bucketful of broken china
and the spiders in the cracks.
if eyes open can the hand
– and heart – remain closed?
(unfeeling at the sunrise of tomorrow)
why dream of night when it is day –
or wish the golden colours grey?

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