Empty Hands

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

You come again
with empty hands.
When I meet you
your hands have nothing for me.
Not a small desert blossom.
Not a tiny bit of driftwood.
No rock.

You could have reached down
on your walk across the desert
and picked up a small gift.

I yearn for those hands
to be generous.
My father,
although a tyrant,
always had something for me
in his large brown hands.

But you,
I will rename you
“Empty Hands.”

Tomorrow the light
that floods the high desert
will present itself to me
as my gift.


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, Poetry

12 responses to “Empty Hands

  1. eremophila

    Your writing Ethel, always moves me. Words bring forth strong images, weaving magic threads, straight to the heart.

  2. Beautiful poem reminds me of a child that has not yet learnt that love and one’s time is the biggest gift of all. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Once again you exercise your ability to transport us to that still place. Thank you. It is appreciated that you trouble yourself to do so.

  4. Caddo Veil

    Beautiful, and painful.

  5. Ethel, you have a writing style that delves into one’s core in a few short stanzas; poetry that is a gift to anyone who reads it…

  6. Julie Catherine

    This is so poignant, Ethel, and leaves me with an aching in my heart for you … such beautiful poetry you write, always … ~ Love, Julie xox

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