GIFTS - The Buffalo News

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I have my father's hands, my mother's eyes.
Yes, these eyes are dark, like my mother's.
I use these eyes to see the not-enough.
These eyes will pass you quickly, judging you
too soon. They are hungry eyes and want . . .
something else, which soon enough is
insufficient, bad, and then unwanted.
I have my father's coloring and temper.
And his hands -- long and broad with veins
that raise in blue relief on pale skin.
I use these hands to hurt a tiny creature,
make a vulgar gesture, hurl a plate;
these hands will push away in ignorance
what loves me, and even what I love.
These hands and eyes control me if I let them.
So I have learned the ways of subterfuge
against myself: this third gift, then, a dark-
shadowed airless shell of stilling fear,
suborns me to betray what I might be
and is the strongest testimony to
the two lives lived, and left in turn for me.

NANCY DENAULT-WEISS lives in Albion.

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