Free Hands


If hands could free you, heart,
Where would you fly?
Far, beyond every part
Of earth this running sky
Makes desolate? Would you cross
City and hill and sea,
If hands could set you free?

~ Philip Larkin, If Hands Could Free You, Heart

If hands could free you, heart,
from drumless rhythms, oceans
or fragmented falls of rain,
all different, distant yet the same
beating from miles apart.

The continent can not divide
the whisper of you, heart:
the tap of truth spoken
one letter at a time.

If hands could free you
with the feathered power
of a rhyme, where would you fly?
What music would you paint
if song could fill your eye,
recall the scattered tears

far beyond every part
of prescience, child years
that catch each flake of hope
upon the tip of smiles.

Our compasses of earth,
this running sky, make desolate
the hourglass of past.
Where would you cross
the hidden line from first
to last: heaven and earth,
city and hill and sea?

Where would you plant your dreams
if hands could set you free?

~for Tristesse

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