Poem of the Week | May 26, 2020

This week’s Poem of the Week is “Some Hands Are There” by Samyak Shertok!

Samyak Shertok’s poems appear or are forthcoming in Blackbird, The Cincinnati Review, Colorado Review, The Gettysburg Review, Shenandoah, Waxwing, and elsewhere. A recipient of fellowships from Aspen Words, the Virginia G. Piper Center, and the Vermont Studio Center and scholarships from the Tebot Bach Foundation and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, he has performed his poetry at TEDxUniveristyOfMississippi. His poems have been nominated for Best New Poets and The Best Small Fictions and received an AWP Intro Journals Award this year.

Some Hands Are There

even when you don’t
need them
kneading the buckwheat dough
in the dark
for your fast
and full moon feast
plucking a cut kite
from the sky
and knotting it to your spool
numbing their thumbs
on the prayer beads
to make the fever moons
break between your teeth
typing gibberish
in the living room
for it sounds like rain
and helps you sleep

morning after morning
they touch my hands
to the warmth of a filled cup
how do I hold them
before they become a prayer
of the cut kite
over the buckwheat field
the hands
that open my fist
like a letter
from a long-forgotten friend
beside the buttered bread


Author’s Note

Weighed down by our dreams and expectations, often we fail to appreciate the many gifts we receive on a daily basis. This poem is a thank you note to all the people–especially my mother–who’ve blessed my life by performing small but necessary acts of love and kindness.