Tiny Clay Doll with No Arms
Given to me by my sister as a gift, the tiny Indian doll stands with no arms. Given to me so I can raise my hands and stop the world from coming closer. Something has been taken from here— a day when reaching out was death. Something lost with my own hands. The doll stands three inches tall, its brown head wrapped in a red scarf. No arms, as if I could look at a body and not welcome it back. As if I knew what happened to my grip on those things. The clay doll stands on my bookshe1f. It stares out the window. It does not have any arms. I don’t know why it was carved that way, don’t know what it means, why the invisible palms hold everything. When I touch it with a fingertip, it leans against a book. It does not fall. When I set it back on its bare feet, I carefully use both hands.
Reprinted from The Hawk Temple at Tierra Grande, with the permission of BOA Editions, Ltd. Copyright © 2001 by Ray Gonzalez. All rights reserved.