Bob Hicok
The class visit

How many of you have seen a hawk? 

One hand raised. Who's gone 

to Disney World? No hands raised. 

How many of you own a dog? Four hands. 

Has anyone ever made a snowman? Two hands. 

Ever seen the Big Dipper?  

On my grandma's farm, one kid said, 

his hand up, fingers wiggling.  

Who knows someone who was shot  

and killed? Every hand went up. Faster  

than thought. More certain than rain.  

If you know someone else 

who was killed, raise your other hand.  

Had you happened by just then,  

you'd wonder why so many kids  

were signaling touchdown, both arms  

thrown high, or why that class  

was pretending to be on a roller coaster, 

arms tossed at the sun  

as they dropped over the edge  

of their fake demise, 

and smile. An actual smile  

or just a bit of joy  

you'd carry on your face  

down the hall,  

to wherever you were going,  

making the mood  

of the next room you entered  

a little better,  

even if you didn't know it.  

I think the pleasure  

has to do with their hands  

being so little  

yet wanting to hold as much  

as anyone has ever wanted to hold.  

Hands are good at that. Holding.  

Hands are good at almost everything  

we ask them to do. 

Found In Volume 46, No. 04
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Bob Hicok
About the Author


Bob Hicok's most recent book is Sex & Love & (Copper Canyon, 2016). Hold will be published by Copper Canyon in 2018.