Learning to Trace the Body


Your face is an empty house

behind these narrow fence posts

but you want to trace the hand,

its earnest knuckles, tender junction

of fingers. You were sure

you would recognize the shape

of need, but remember, the hand

gives mixed messages:

Halt. All gone. Pick me.


There was a time you couldn’t

spot yourself by shape alone.

On the floor of your classroom,

the rigid contours of the fallen.

Were you not the tall one,

you might have been any of them,

hands flayed and helpless,

legs a little open.







Photo by Ben Smith


About Author

Karen Craigo teaches English to international students at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri. Her work has appeared in the journals Poetry, Indiana Review, Prairie Schooner, Puerto del Sol, The MacGuffin, and others. Her chapbook, Stone for an Eye, is part of the Wick Poetry Series.

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