Friday, February 14, 2014

Poetry Friday -- Brrr...

Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Lars Kristian Flem


It's frigid.
Each hand's fingers huddle
in the main house of the mitten,
fraternal quadruplets, each smitten
with the opposable digit.

It's touching
the way the four welcome thumb
in from his cold outpost,
fold over him,
hold him close.

Then later,
when the backs of the fingers succumb,
begin to numb,
thumb becomes reciprocator,
gathers the four beneath his meager reach.

For once,
thumb is unconcerned
about any job to be done.
Fingers appreciate thumb's cuddle,
though he covers only two knuckles.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day! Linda has the Poetry Friday roundup at TeacherDance today.


  1. I think I need some more hot coffee after reading your chilly poem. "Thumb is unconcerned" is my favorite phrase.

  2. Nice description!

  3. Oooh! I love this. Poor lonely thumb in that "cold outpost." I am glad thumb gets to cuddle in the end, and "mitten" and "smitten" are two of my favorite words ever, so I am sighing with joy over here. Happy Valentine's Day!

  4. You are so creative, Mary Lee! Gotta love the attitude of the thumb! Happy Valentine's Day!

  5. This has to be the most adorable thumb-y poem ever. I also love the words mitten and smitten, and the thumb cuddle is wonderful.

  6. Anonymous10:38 AM

    Stay warm!

  7. Love this, Mary Lee! Reading it makes all my digits warm and happy.

  8. You had me doing gymnastics with my thumb, Mary Lee - poor old thumb, he seems a caring sort.

  9. So fun, Mary Lee, and so right! I love the 'main house', why I hate gloves, fingers all so alone! Hope it's warming up!

  10. "his cold outpost . . . hold him close" -- love the sounds.

  11. Your poem is delightful, Mary Lee!

  12. Your poetic subjects are always a surprise, Mary Lee!

  13. Hello there Mary Lee. This is one ingenious way of looking at love and gloves and knuckles and mittens. Very beautiful. :)

  14. Love, love, love the thought of "fraternal quadruplets" being cared for by thumb when he "becomes reciprocator,
    gathers the four beneath his meager reach".
    So much love inside that glove. <3

  15. How sweet is this! Only you could give these digits such warmth and personality.

  16. Anonymous7:26 AM

    So clever! Hopefully, we won't be needing mittens too much longer.

  17. What a great perspective- and so well done! I love the assonance in " ...fingers succumb,
    begin to numb,
    thumb becomes..." Fantastic!

  18. Never thought the close-up of the inner workings of the mittened hand could be a valentine, Mary Lee! :-)

  19. So many things to love here--why, let me count the ways (a way for each finger):
    1) rhyming, charming title
    2) five lines in a stanza like five fingers on a hand
    3) one shorter line like one shorter thumb
    4) mitten-smitten
    5) thumb - numb - succumb
    5) how I didn't even think to quibble over glove vs. mitten but just succumbed to the cuddle of huddled knuckles

    Oh bliss.

    1. I'm not very good at counting, but I know a good poem when I see one, and so full of voice! Just read Teaching Authors post, too. A loving way to think of your hands today.

  20. Hee--so many things to love that I totally lost count and found an extra digit.

  21. See, this is why I don't like gloves! Everyone is separated and cold. I feel sorry for the thumb, and sometimes let it join my fingers in the big room! Love the hand - heart photo!

  22. What a great poem! And so timely. :-)
    My favorite lines:
    >>the way the four welcome thumb
    in from his cold outpost,<,
    Stay warm!

  23. I like the way the fingers and thumb so naturally work together. I guess I shouldn't have expected anything different. Your poem makes me realize how lonely my fingers must feel in a glove.


  24. Wow! Love it. So many sounds emerge from that muffled mitten (cuddle - covers - knuckle), (succumb - numb - thumb), 'meager reach', oh, the list goes on.

  25. I was right inside those mittens! Thanks!


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