Leveler Poetry Journal
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The Feeling of Yesterday in Today

 

Here is the mark.

Here is the hand

with the mark.

 

Here—the mark

is here on the ring

 

finger, my five-year-old hand.

 

The hand is writing. Yes, it is.

But here

 

the hand is corrected.

 

Here the hand

is writing properly,

 

and here is the other mark.

Here the other hand,

with a mark on it, too,

 

The mark on top

 

of this hand goes across

 

a vein—a gash, showing

you where

 

once a machine

took a bite of me. Here

 

the marks cover

the mouth.

Both marks on both hands

 

clasped, covering the mouth

 

that has just made

 

a mark in air.

 

Here is the mark of the tongue,

here the syllable not

turned over. Here is the mouth absent

 

 

a tooth. And here, here the hand feeling,

filling the absence.

 

Un-marked,

here is a word

 

absent

a syllable. Here it is, the word,

 

ruined.

Now,

 

here: a five-year-old girl says the word,

 

sounds like rooned.

Here is the hand,

 

not hers, grabbing her

marked hands.

 

Here the hand grabbing her hands,

the mother’s,

 

saying, no. Here her feeling,

 

no.

Here are both

marks, both

hands clasped,

covering.




Carrie Chappell