teaching the family to sign

Speak loud
with washed fingers
(dust dulls
the sensitivity of touch)

into the ear of her dirt-free hand.
a speckless voice

Roll your fingers lightly, just slightly
above the lifeline

etched in her upturned palm.
an untethered river

into a wild girl's mind. Open
her tight fist
to a feather-bed of stars

to the leer of a bluejay
the whistling rain under the eaves
the snap of a green bean
the clank of a metal pot.

Back to Seeing Annie Sullivan