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  • NYS Writers Institute

Poetry Friday: "Hands"

For today's Poetry Friday post, we're sharing a poem by Shawna Norton.

Shawna is one of more than 70 poets, writers, and artists featured in the Trolley journal edition published online in July. We're planning to put out a call for submissions for the next Trolley in the next few weeks. Stay tuned.


By Shawna Norton

According to the CDC: “Wash your hands often to stay healthy” I have always been obsessed with hands because they tell stories. At each encounter, I read: my eyes wander from theirs to examine lines for wear. Do these hands work? Do they hold? What do they seek? My own hands bear burns and scars, they peel from washing glasses and spending too much time in dirt. They are callused, my fingertips, the crests of my palms. They long to be tender. Now, hands feel like weakness, or worse yet, weapons. I watch warily where they go, what they touch-- what they might give, or take. I don’t want them to remember. I scrub, long, but not long enough, unable to erase the marks of the day.

By Shawna Norton © 2020 All rights reserved.


Shawna Norton

Shawna Norton received her MA in English Literature from the University of Vermont. She teaches English and History at the Susan Odell Taylor School. She lives and works in Troy, NY.

Thank you for reading.

You can find more poems, essays, and short fiction at the NYS Writers Institute's Trolley journal.


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