Right Hand

Vicki Feaver

Ever since, in an act of reckless
middle age, I broke my wrist
learning to skate, my right hand

refuses to sleep with me.
It performs the day’s tasks
stiffly, stoically; but at night

slides out from the duvet
to hollow a nest in the pillow
like an animal gone to ground

in a hole in the hedge
whose instinct says have nothing
to do with heart, lungs, legs,

the dangerous head. I dreamed of gliding
through a Breughel winter:
of sitting in smoky inns

drinking burning geneva.
My hand dreams its own dream
of escaping: a waving weed rooted

in a pool so icy and numbing
I can feel its ache
rising up my arm.