Hands

Five of us, down by the river

Outside is bigger, you said

Space to think, and the sun will be good for your skin

Tall, tall, short short short,

If we hurry we'll get some play time in

 

Patches of grass were dry, they scratched

Thorns stuck to my sandals and tapped on the stones

The river was mostly mud

You caught

My hand in yours and pulled, arms taught

 

Five of us, spinning together

Holding, holding, tight, tight tight

Giddy and undignified, heads thrown back

Hands sweating, slipping,

Looking down to stay upright

 

It's hard to keep hold

Palms cool and slick

I pinched hard with my fingertips, knuckles were aching

Stepped on a lost sandal

Don't break it, keep holding

 

The ground isn't rough, it's falling away

We spin off, up, out into the light

Our orbit is somewhere between us

The tiny circle, hot and bright,

Enough to power the universe

 

Five of us, lasting forever,

In gold and grass and tripping feet,

Faster and faster and hold, hold, hold

Until someone

Lets

Go

 

My hand was too slippy with sweat, I think

My fingers were too small to grip

Or you tripped on the sandal that somebody lost

Or he got bored

Or the dip in the ground caught her feet

 

The circle, no longer a circle,

The five of us up in the sky

Spin out into space, we break, we cease,

Some fall, some skid, let go, let go,

Our motion claimed by the ground beneath.