Three Hands, Two Holding Forks
(after a drawing by Vincent Van Gogh)
by Jean L. Kreiling
The hands reach, like that of Michelangelo’s Adam,
but for something earthly;
each generates the next, like those imagined by Escher,
but more obliquely;
the knuckles wrinkle darkly, like my grandfather’s,
but without his crisscrossing scars.
The forks hardly exist:
a few impatiently drawn lines
suggest just enough solidity
curled fingers and bent wrists.
But no fork explains the third hand,
the one with the tightest grip
and the heaviest shadows;
like my grandfather’s fist.