Right-Hand Man

I’d pick up a spoon
in my left hand,

and they’d take it
and put it in my right.

I was small, very small,
probably no bigger

than a hobo’s bindle.
They’d look down at me

while I slept
and shake their heads.

Where they came from,
liars and arsonists

were left-handed.
I’d pick up a block

in my left hand,
and they’d take it

and put it in my right.
Now sometimes

when I start to reach
for what I want,

I’ll stop suddenly
and wonder

whose hand this is.

Ω

Howie Good a journalism professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz, is the author of six poetry chapbooks, most recently Tomorrowland (2008) from Achilles Chapbooks. He has been nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize and twice for the Best of the Net anthology.