Left Hand

Not my fault, but it’s my duty

The heel of my hand drags along the page,
smearing inky blackness as it goes.
The words are marred, some blotted out,
and those that remain appear dirty,
marked with the smudges of their brothers.
The offending surface–that skin–
is just as blackened as the page.

I sigh and rise from my seat
to wash off the dark pigment,
knowing full well that much of it
has already seeped beneath the surface,
staining the tissue with gray.

Without that cleanse, though,
I know that I will continue to smear the ink
on everything that I touch,
leaving yet another trail of destruction in my wake.
So I lather with soap, and I scrub as best I can,
determined not to let circumstances that I cannot help–
that I did not choose–
inflict harm on those around me.

Sometimes, that is the only motivation
I can find
to do the cleaning I know
I need to do.