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A poem from Helen Townsend

by Helen Townsend

I have my father’s thumbs.
I first noticed them on a summer
road trip, when no teenager
wants to ride cross country
in a Ford Taurus
with Mom and Dad.
From a bored stare
from the back seat
I first saw the thumbs
on the hands grasping the steering wheel
were the thumbs
on the hands holding my book.

We pray to remember who we are.
That’s what Sr. Christina taught
from inside her cavern of black fabric
under reprints of Jesus and Mary.
I didn’t know yet
that I carry my icons on me.

Bio: Helen Townsend lives in Indianapolis. “One of my favorite things is sitting down to write or revise, and when I look at the clock, hours have gone by. Everyone who writes or makes art or has a great conversation has experienced that. It feels like a glimpse of eternity.”