March 15, 2020 by The Citron Review

by Michael Lauchlan


When I drop a glass in the kitchen,
I can hear my mother laughing,

joking about my thumbs. Her own
were hooked like golf clubs.

I can hold mine out
and cover sun or moon

and stand at the center of things,
blocking the great spheres.

Our hands fit stones
and wrenches and keyboards.
They grasp the arms of toddlers.

On everything, we leave
a thumb-shaped, oily trace.

I sweep up the shards,
knowing my thumbs are blameless.

My eyes had wandered and my heart,
unnoticed, had left the kitchen.

Finally, I wander outside
to gape at the moon’s old face
and think of my father–

his brief, sublunary path,
his scarred and broken hands.


Michael Lauchlan has contributed to many publications, including New England Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, The North American Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Sugar House Review, Louisville Review, Poet Lore, Southern Poetry Review, and Poetry Ireland. His most recent collection is Trumbull Ave., from WSU Press (2015).


One thought on “Whorls

  1. Eileen Frey says:

    Love this one!

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