Monday, February 22, 2010

Off Hand

There’s really no good place to park it
Dangling at the waist—a smidge away from carding
Raised in a poetic arch—SO quaint
Resting on the shoulder—feeble little T-Rex paw
I’ve even seen it perched atop the mask (which looks deranged)

In Tucson, once, I fenced a gal who had none
(No off hand, that is)
Fabulous example
Of making lemonade

In this asymmetric recreation
It’s vestigial
Sure it holds the mask while you salute
Big deal
It spends the bout
A minor anchor for the arm that does the
Yeoman’s work of flinging forth the lunge
Or pulling the recovery
Once in a blue moon it shines, provides the flourish
Capping off a squirm
Mostly, like a little sister, it’s enjoined to
Stay out of the way

Worse than useless
A nuisance
Begging for a bruise
Or cut, or broken nail


In the end,
The roles reverse
Gloved hand relegated to the humble task
Of juggling mask and foil as
The off hand
Reaches out to shake

Embodying victory or, at least, good grace

1 comment:

  1. I love this one! Yes, the shake is the most important part of the bout. Isn't that enough to give the off-hand pride of place?