Given to me by my sister as a gift,
the tiny Indian doll stands with no arms.
Given to me so I can raise my hands
and stop the world from coming closer.
Something has been taken from here--
a day when reaching out was death.
with my own hands.
The doll stands three inches tall,
its brown head wrapped in a red scarf.
No arms, as if I could look at a body
and not welcome it back.
As if I knew what happened
to my grip on those things.
The clay doll stands on my bookshe1f.
It stares out the window.
It does not have any arms.
I don't know why it was carved that way,
don't know what it means,
why the invisible palms hold everything.
When I touch it with a fingertip,
it leans against a book.
It does not fall.
When I set it back
on its bare feet,
I carefully use both hands.
Reprinted from The Hawk Temple at
Tierra Grande, with the permission of BOA Editions, Ltd. Copyright © 2001
by Ray Gonzalez. All rights reserved.