Saturday, September 1, 2018


Composition for the Left Hand

Last night I met a trophy hunter

who admired my slender fingers —

he held my left hand up to the light

and praised the pretty white skin

on my palm and let me flare my fingers

out like the antlers of a stag — he took my wrist

and I didn't insist on a phone number —

I gave him mine,

even knowing what his game was.

I played it and all the time I knew

he'd want to claim some trophy or some prize.

He was a trophy hunter —

believe me, he had guns

in a glass cabinet like the one

my grandmother kept her champagne glasses in

(such rich families I've been involved in)

and he cleaned them regularly

with a long thin pipe

and a soft oily rag —

he was a paying hunter, you see,

the best in the company,

and he really didn't want me at all.

He only wanted some kind of trophy,

something pale and palmate

that he could hang on his wall

after the whole ugly thing was over.


Tara Bergin
This is Yarrow
Carcanet Press 2013