Amenity Extremity

Dear Hands,

I’m sorry for how I used to treat you,

Like disposable gloves.

Creating permanent reminders of what has been and was.

The scar from pushing friends on swings,

Blisters from midnight bike rides,

Gripping onto monkey bars,

And other childish things.


I’m sorry for the hours you spent,

Cramped and mangled;

Holding on like it was life or death,

Clasping onto the pen or the phone handle.

Because the priorities then were

“Fifteen pages identifying motivations behind the Cold War” and such

And trying to explain to anyone who would listen,

What was between me and any sense of normalcy…

Was the distance too little or too much?


I’m sorry for using you to lock the door and bar the windows,

Shutting everyone out when I felt most alone.

I should have raised you to call for help

Rather than clench you until my knuckles were bones.


And during my darkest moments

I'm sorry for making you turn off the lights.

I think I knew then that it was wrong

To make you bring the knife to my gun fight.  


But I think I’m most sorry for

Making you trace the scratches left on my arms.

The ones that you made but I caused.

Some are fresher than others

But thankfully most have faded away.

I’m sorry for being reminded of them when I see you.

Because regardless,

I’m reminded of them every day.


Now I’d like to thank you.

Show gratitude rather than more cowardice.

Appreciation to the ones who stick around,

Is a virtue I have so far not been blessed with.


So thank you for the troughs of popcorn,

You have fed me over countless episodes both emotional and cinematic.

Perhaps it’s been the lingering film of butter

That has caused my predilection for the dramatic.


Thank you for the adventures.

Crushing Candy,

Catching Pokémon,

And Running through Temples.

Means of escape without which

I probably would have become more mental.


Thanks for withstanding my brief stints into creativity,

Trying to replicate both intricate and basic forms of art.

Taking on the role of canvas, smock, and tool,

Smudging on eyeshadow, deciding on which hair part.

Achieving the perfect red lip,

The sharpest wing on which to take flight,

The knowledge and acceptance that somehow,

The left will always turn out better than the right.


Above all else,

I need to thank you for the connections you make for me,

What I will never be able to replace or compare.

Snapping photos of my sister mid-laugh,

Writing puns on birthday cards,

Or attempting to detangle my niece’s hair.

I’m trying to push away the bad memories while holding onto the good ones I need,

Now that I drive at midnight with friends,

And I hold onto the flowers my boyfriend brings,

I am reminded of how far you've taken me;

Sometimes wishing I could go back to my childish things.


I also find it easier to understand

How much I owe for everything I have

To my friends,

My family,


And my hands.


Sincerely, Karen

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