Good Thing We Only Have Two Hands

Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit; Where the mind is led forward into ever-widening thought and action—Into that heaven of freedom, let us awake.
—Rabindranath Tagore

In one hand, I hold forgiveness
for all the ways we might have loved
each other but have not. In the other,

I hold nothing. Both hands
look the same. Empty bowls. Not all
emptiness is created equal. Some

helps us listen. Some leaves us lost.
Some carries us toward faith.
Some is a portal. Some is a heron

with ungainly wings trying to find
a place to land. And some emptiness
is something else, impossible to name.

I have tried to understand these things—
instead I am left with two hands full
of empty, one reaching forward,

the other cupped with its fingers apart like
a sieve, a strainer, a leaky bowl.
Nothing stays in it. Not beads

of promise. Not words. Not rain.
Now feels like a good time
to learn to pray.


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