One Hand

"Silhouettes" by Tom Sierak, original pastel

click to enlarge

The sound of one hand
clapping is not silence.
It is tears.
Love wishing itself
against the closed fist.
Grace reigning a world
against its will.

The heart, a muffled beat
in blood and flesh,
muted by the calloused will,
at last grows silent.
It is the first sound.
It is the last sound.
Like boots in snow,
the impression left behind
suggests a traveler.

“Write,” it says. “Speak
to the blind busyness. Sing
in the night. The deafening night.”
And when the dance subsides,
there remains an echo
rippling on the lake’s dark face,
that someone once was there,
Clapping.

Copyright © 2000 Susan Dane • All rights reserved.
Selection from GOOD-BYE TO WHITE KNIGHTS and other moving vehicles—III. One Hand.
Painting: “Silhouettes” by Tom Sierak, original pastel.