I call him Jidu
the arabic word for grandfather

he demonstrates for me
the handshake of Kahlil Gibran

and unhurried
he is pressing my hand
from the wrist to the fingertips

they met at a party
when Gibran visited detroit in 1926

apparently Gibran never forgot a

I know this hand    he would say
if he had met someone before

Gibran is gone
and all his knowledge of hands

and my Jidu
now long ago

wherever I have tried to hold on
I’m left with a handshake of dust


my words hold more
reach farther

I will teach
the handshakes of the dead
to the unborn
Poems 4
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