This is the map, the palm of your hand.
Here is your house, the school and the field
where you played. Below the third finger
of your left hand, I see the church
where you never married.
At the base of your thumb, dirt
is ingrained. This is the mine, the place
where your father worked. It is buried
deep beneath your skin. This is why your
blood is more black than red and the sacs
of your lungs are filled with coal dust.
Your hand is the one your mother made
in the secrets of her womb, the blueprint
of your life already decided.
This is the path you must take.
The seeds your father planted still flourish.
Many years ago his heart burned with love
The embers are still there, glowing.
If you have any comments on this poem, Sally James would be pleased to hear from you.