HAND SIGNS

She asks me to meet her at a local cafe as she has exciting news.

Of course I will meet her.  I will always meet her.

While my conversations are cheap cheese and crackers, hers are exquisite caviar and aged bourdeaux.

So I sit transfixed, elbows rooted to the table, head propped between palms, watching her delicate ringed fingers contort and swirl in an exotic dance of words.

The choreography of her conversation, each nuance of movement, each seductive shifting shape, requires my complete attention.

And the news?  Who cares.  This hand dance is a visual fascination.

How is it that I, who have so many more concrete words at my command, cannot capture and hold the essence of language, while she, speaking only in symbols, uses each finger as a poet?

I listen as her voice rasps out primitive sound.

I watch as her hands build images of another world.

She speaks to me in a manner no one else can imagine, and I listen in a different way.

But yesterday she broke a finger and now I can’t get beyond the splint or her stutter.

Copyright 2009

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