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Published Date: April 30, 2007

Published Date: April 30, 2007

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The Hands That Dress

It’s the gown that weighed her down
The costume she wore was the cause for her to drown
“She slipped,” they say
but she didn’t leave the water
“She was mad,” they say, “did it herself.”
but for this demise, someone’s to blame

There were hands, you see
that did push her, and dressed
They pulled strings tight to suppress her chest
An act of suffocation to expose her breasts
These hands pushed her, yes
into a place for display upon a branch high above the lake
Held by binding strings those hands tied
around her throat, wrists, and waist

And what did they say,
the owners of the voices that owned the hands?
“Don’t fall. Don’t fall!
We’ll be watching real close.”
Taking a place as spectators below

“Oh Look! The strings are snapping!
Look! The girl is falling!”
They gasp, await the SPLASH!
Give their condolences . . . “How sad . . .
Don’t know how she managed that.”
As if they’d forgotten . . . it was their hands
their hands that placed her so high
Have you forgotten? Water’s no place to land

Now on to the next tree
“Look there! Another girl’s atop the leaves.”
And she too will be wearing a gown . . .
With an accessory of strings
soon to weaken . . . soon to break
This so-called slip is quite common, as it’s seen
And oh how she slips! How she sinks!
Her hands are waving, but yours won’t help her out
You already did your part
What more does she want?
You dressed her!
In a beauty fit for your thought

And those hands . . . will tear the material apart
To make way for those hands to touch her
in places she doesn’t want
As if to prove they can mold the skin as they did the rest
under the impression she’s made of clay, not flesh

And, as most hands do, they’ll hand her things . . .
Not gifts! The things they insist
pushing and compiling, the weight too much to lift
While they take even more, the burden no less
Taking the flowers she picked as a girl
Ripping them from her hands, claiming each one absurd

Pansies for thoughts
Rues to repent
Even the daisies, for love
But the world never grew violets
for faithfulness has wilt
for this girl and the rest.
In place of these, one flower’s left
A single rose, for beauty in trend
colored pink for the chosen feminine
Perfection preserved to stay the same

Not even in water can a rose grow once cut
So get out of the water!
With the hands that are yours,
Have you forgotten?
Don’t fear those on the shore
You’re not under their control anymore!
You fell, you’re frail, but you’re now untied
The subject of your exhibit is to be defied

Get out of the water!
Get to the ground, where there’s soil
Embed new roots, revive!
Get out or you’ll stay there
unconscious, but still alive
“She’s drown’d,” they’ll say
It’s merely a coma, there’s been a mistake

Ophelia’s story’s left undone
She still floats upon that lake
A woman now, those hands are beneath her
Holding her up, maintaining the pose
she held as a girl so long ago
Wearing the very same gown
now covered with mold

She is gone, she is gone
but no one casts away a moan
for there is another girl to be shown
And those hands have chosen yet another dress
designed all the more dense
which you’ll be fitted for, unless—
You disobey the hands that dress