If you think you could be dreaming
you can try a handcheck:
look at your hand’s open palm and flick
back and forth between that and the back.

You’ll know if you’re awake.
Your knuckles will just be your knuckles,
your little finger just a pinky.
If not, there are all kinds of freaky possibilities –
your fingers could be tied in knots,
or covered in dark lipstick kiss marks,
or made of lank kale…

I check.
It looks like normal… I think.
Only, when did I get ink?
What’s normal? I blink… and in that quick movement
there's a sparkling kaleidoscope of black and shocking pink.
I don’t know I’m awake, but something’s out of kilter, and I reckon
if I take a breath, I can make things happen here.
I close my eyes again. Take my time. Hold my palm out flat.
What will I make? A knife? A key?
With a whack, it lands from the sky.
I sneak a look:
a shepherd’s crook.



I'm writing a poem for each of the 26 letters of the English alphabet for #NaPoWriMo2018. The letter 'K' is derived from an Egyptian hieroglyph for an open hand - think of splayed fingers. In English, K has a strange duality as arguably our hardest-sounding letter but also one of those that is most often silent. Is it real or a dream?

The poems are a sequence and you can read those that have come before on the following links:

A B C D E F G H I J 


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