The Class Visit
How many of you have seen a hawk?
One hand raised. Who’s gone
to Disney World? No hands raised.
How many of you own a dog? Four hands.
Has anyone ever made a snowman? Two hands.
Ever seen the Big Dipper?
On my grandma’s farm, one kid said,
his hand up, fingers wiggling.
Who knows someone who was shot
and killed? Every hand went up. Faster
than thought. More certain than rain.
If you know someone else
who was killed, raise your other hand.
Had you happened by just then,
you’d wonder why so many kids
were signaling touchdown, both arms
thrown high, or why that class
was pretending to be on a roller coaster,
arms tossed at the sun
as they dropped over the edge
of their fake demise,
and smile. An actual smile
or just a bit of joy
you’d carry on your face
down the hall,
to wherever you were going,
making the mood
of the next room you entered
a little better,
even if you didn’t know it.
I think the pleasure
has to do with their hands
being so little
yet wanting to hold as much
as anyone has ever wanted to hold.
Hands are good at that. Holding.
Hands are good at almost everything
we ask them to do.