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.

by Ray Gonzalez

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