my hand on the altar by Cynthia Sharp

Poem title: my hand on the altar Poet name: Cynthia Sharp Poem: snow dead tissue the crick crick crick of fingertips in daily tasks snapping in frostbitten numbness pulse thrumming through as my heart struggles to hold onto them icy winter bleeds through peach roses crisp clarity a lens I used to shake fresh snow out of lime-leaved bamboo trees now I rest cut tendons struggling to restore themselves overuse of the computer mouse damage from sanitizing groceries accidentally repeatedly in flesh wounds tingling electric numb swollen doctor predicts blue lines are a blood clot my hand on the altar having sacrificed two years of physiotherapy to stay home be part of the solution stop the spread of contagious Covid while we ignore the rest of ourselves give up swimming skating exercise outside the apartment for the myth of being too good taking the pandemic request to stay home to levels of unnecessary sacrifice dehydrated veins pray to outlive the roses not to crumple like the basil leaves I dried to fight infection before the confirmation white blood cell count normal inarticulate fingers and a slowed down body green veins bulge through wrinkly skin like aging garlic with bulky shoots beneath beige translucent peel weirdly wrapped enclosed cloves off deformed looking yet a gift of abundance free fresh chives to add to salad at no extra cost my stone fingers a blessing too of slower days time just being present I am soft earth with the right to live peacefully curves of ice and foliage my rounded knuckles pink and peach sunset lighting the snow the hope of longer days the scent of cedar wafts up freshly cut promising balance for the rest of the journey End of poem. Credits and bio: Copyright © Cynthia Sharp Previously published in Ordinary Light (Silver Bow Publishing, January 2023), and is forthcoming in the Quae Nocent Docent Anthology out of Toronto. Cynthia Sharp is a full member of the League of Canadian Poets and The Writers’ Union of Canada. She is currently on the Burnaby Writers’ Society board of directors, following her years of service on the executive of the Federation of British Columbia Writers. Cynthia was a Writers International Network 2022 Poet Laureate, one of the Pandora’s Collective 2020 Poetry Contest Judges and the City of Richmond, British Columbia’s, 2019 Writer in Residence. Her poetry, reviews and creative nonfiction have been published and broadcast internationally in journals such as CV2, Prism, Quills, Pocket Lint, The Pitkin Review and untethered. Cynthia’s dramatic writing has been performed by theatre troupes for events such as the Delta Literary Arts Society’s 2022 Killer Verse, as well as at Video In Studios and SAW Gallery. Her full length collections Ordinary Light and Rainforest in Russet are available in bookstores and libraries throughout the world.