One-Handed Art

The Leadbelly song filled the glade
toes tapped, heads nodded

But not his toes, not his head

he sat on the picnic table

his left hand
bundled in gauze and splint
fingers taped up tight

his thoughts as unreadable
as his eyes behind the sunglasses

but the very stillness of his body
told of a tension
ready to be let loose

with his right hand
he took a small tin box from his pocket

from the box
he chose one small piece of paper
flat and smooth and square
of shifting hues

he studied the paper
turning it over
and over
feeling with his fingertips
the blue the white the purple

with quick moves, deliberate moves
he played the paper
like an instrument

his fingers
moving moving
twirling wiggling
pressing flicking
creasing folding
folding creasing
creasing folding

done, he studied his work
for a long quiet moment

he left the table and placed the
tiny swan
in the crook of a nearby elm

where it waited

Harry W. Yeatts Jr.