My Cart 
Login 

Previous

Papouli's Hands
by
Andrea Potos


Next
 

His house in Roumeli is rubble now.
My aunt returned with stones—
I keep one, small monument
on my nightstand—streams of white quartz
pressed, glittering in grey rock.

In the nursing home—the vinyl chair,
metal-framed bed piled thick with blankets—
I go to him.
He is tapping his fingertips together—
a silent rhythm
I have watched all my life.

At 102, he says there are so many things
not to think about.
I imagine breadlines, his savings
lost, his son dead at three years old,
all that was never said.

I clasp his hands; they are always cool,
as if heat must rise from too
great a distance. His skin is smooth
as candlewax, thin as parchment
or the membranes of wings.
I trace their raised lacery of deep
purple lines, like the veins of an ancient country
I want to know.

From Yaya’s Cloth (Iris Press).
Used with the author’s permission.

Purchase a framed print of this poem.

 

Andrea Potos is the author of four books of poetry, including the newly released Abundance to Share with the Birds (Finishing Line Press) and the forthcoming We Lit the Lamps Ourselves (Salmon Poetry).  A self-professed “book addict,” her award-winning work often focuses on women and family. Her Greek grandparents and their spirit have been an abiding presence and inspiration throughout her life and poetry. Andrea lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with her husband and daughter. 


Post New Comment:
Ginny C.:
Beautiful poem.
Posted 06/18/2011 10:36 AM
wendy morton:
What a spare and moving poem. Lovely images.
Posted 06/18/2011 09:29 AM
mimi:
heartbreakingly beautiful... Sharon Auberle
Posted 06/18/2011 08:45 AM
KevinArnold:
These words resonate for me: At 102, he says there are so many things/ not to think about.
Posted 06/18/2011 08:19 AM
Rob:
Beautiful! Esp. love that closing image/idea!!
Posted 06/18/2011 08:07 AM


Contents of this web site and all original text and images therein are copyright © by Your Daily Poem. All rights reserved.
The material on this site may not be copied, reproduced, downloaded, distributed, transmitted, stored, altered, adapted,
or otherwise used in any way without the express written permission of the owner.