The Bookbinder’s Hands

In memory of my Aunt Elizabeth Weaver, and in honor of the Bookbinder of Water Street, whom I have never met.

The bookbinder’s hands have always been there,
golden in the glow of the lamp light,
curved over the book’s curling skin,
over the cover of an ancient volume
of German poetry, or an Ausbund, perhaps.
Smoothing the pages of a treatise
on divine rights of liberty written
when this was still Penn’s Woods.

The bookbinder sees with fingertips
the miniscule tears, the frayed edge,
the embossment like landscapes,
fingers gently curling like Kwan Yin’s
in a sacred mudra, touching holiness
with tenderness, while the dust
of centuries twinkles in the lamp light
above the bookbinder’s careful hands.

 

Final Prompt of January

Friends, this has been for me a marvelous month.  Thank you for your kind words and responses and “likes.”  During February, I will weed and edit and cultivate this month’s crop of poems, and some others which I have been hoarding.  Yesterday, my friend Kelsey Myers sent me the link to this poem.  Thematically, it’s a challenging read–breezy on the surface and brutal at the heart.  I love it, and I want to do my own version of a definition poem for my last poem of the month.  Join me for one last romp through the word-meadows?  (Oh, there will be plenty more after I have had my little break.  Meanwhile, I will continue to create poem-fodder in the shape of Gratitude Lists, and write some little poems here and there.)

 

Gratitude List:

1.  I gave myself a gift–signed up for Flame in the Hand, John Terlazzo’s writer’s workshop.
2.  Serendipity
3.  Synchronicity–I woke up thinking of an Idea, and turned on FB to read a message by a friend asking me whether I had ever considered this Idea.
4.  Face cream and body oil and glasses of water and rain
5.  Muffins

May we walk in beauty.

Marvel and Wonder
Photo by Michelle Johnsen

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