FIELD NOTES ON HANDS
Samantha Leigh Futhey
Split with swallows, barns and farmhouses handed down
for generations feel their necessity loosen like a bird from open hands.
In summer, white skin turns dark as a river at night. Hands flicker in vines
and stalks, impatient. Honey combed potential, sun-fevered, cancer-spotted hands.
Under cover, immigrants saw apart pig bones one day, crouch in a trailer the next. Pounding
and yells shudder their resolve, hearing the call: Put your hands up!
Manipulators, hands twist ripe peaches from branches. At night, they squeeze
a woman’s thigh, sugared-alcohol breath saying, let lips do what hands do.
Farm women sweep dead flies, hack thistles, masticate the wills of men. Delicate
as steel, feed bills and loans dent their frames. Pretend they can’t bury their faces in their hands.
Palms expose stories of blades, accidental cuts, fingers stubbed. Solidity
of engines easily slips, threads lies of efficiency in farmer’s hands.
Leigh, why do you wish to scoop manure, tug heifers with halters, squeeze milk from udders?
Your words fall like seeds—rub them in soil, germinate with untied hands.
Samantha Leigh Futhey is currently an M.F.A. candidate in the Creative Writing and Environment program at Iowa State University. She has poetry published in RHINO Poetry (under the name Samantha Leigh) and Rust +Moth.