Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, COLD HANDS WARM HEART, by KAREN SWENSON

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

COLD HANDS WARM HEART, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Every winter friday
Last Line: As the ice of ladyhood gloves my fingers.
Subject(s): Cold; Dancing & Dancers

Every winter Friday
before dancing school
my mother felt my hands,
shaking her head as she pulled
the white gloves of ladyhood
over my icicle fingers.
"Sit on them," she advised gently.

So, in a straight-backed girl-chair
facing the rigid boy-chairs
across the waltz of the piano
I sat on my numb hands
fearful some little boy
sweating the steps through cotton palms
would discover he was clutching the shame
of my ice-boned glove.
My hands stayed frostbitten
through those rituals of romance.

And still in the winter months of life
my hands turn to the season -
twig knuckles creaking in the wind -
as the ice of ladyhood gloves my fingers.

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