an ode to my Left hand for teaching me Courage

Dear Left hand,

I thought I would write a love letter 

To express my gratitude to you 


You were my first supporter in the arts;

Carefully scripting poems in my tattered journal that I would tuck under my mattress

Pages littered with vicarious sketches of bunnies and rabbits.

A documentation

of our thoughts coming alive through the web and flow of scribbled pencil marks on the pages.

A spreadsheet

of my internal world that was smeared in the most beautiful fashion because of the way you trailed behind the written expression.

A gift

that I can only repay you through your utilization.


But my gifts became the gateway to my fears 

As you became the focus of my father’s abuse 


I remember our initial bewilderment as he spewed his hatred 

Throwing his fists and his words to declare his Right

To banish our existence. 

I would hide you away as he was seemingly obsessed with the hatred of you.

he declawed you 

and Left your fingers wilting 

but even when your petals were falling 

You, Left hand, remained a rose,

And you arose even when my father wanted us to be anything than us

Because he could only see our thorns.


In many ways, I followed suit 

on the path he paved with disdain 

Because at this point, I wasn’t as scared of wilting 

As I was of the gardener’s wrath. 

I could try to survive with the limited care that was given to me 

Than die being trampled by his boot


I found myself questioning 

Why I wasn’t Right in all the areas that mattered 


I wonder 

I wonder how many times my father pushed me to crawl within myself and 

fix the interworking of my being 

I was a confused butterfly being shoved back into my cocoon,

the uniquely smeared designs of my wings were torn and rendered unusable 


I wonder how many times I’ve had to undo my metamorphosis 

How many times have I learned to use my right hand for certain tasks 

Like when I use scissors, or when I tried to learn how to play the violin.

I know that there are Left handed versions of everything out there 

but it’s just so much harder to find them 

Especially when my dad didn’t want the Left handed version of me


I wonder how hard it is to find myself 

Especially when I was taught that my inauthenticity 

Would make me worthy of love.

How many times I’ve compromised who I am because the other version was Right 


I question 

I question if I was worth the love that others seemed willing to give me 

I didn’t understand it,

So I would slap this love away 

With you, my dear Left hand.

After all 

What’s the use of trying to recreate the missing pages of a journal 


Trying to restore the heartstrings 

Of a woman with a little girl on her knees inside her 

Who is still trying to straighten the crumpled drawings of her bunnies 


But I thank you, Left hand, for championing on in the face of someone who didn’t want you 

Even when my father tried to sand down the pieces that made us

You resisted, persisted 

And never Left.

I’m sorry 

That I believed that you were unlovable 

I’m sorry that I let my father have these Rights to us.


Now I know 

about the things that you have taught me 

We resisted, persisted 

And never Left one another.

You showed me the courage 

To be authentic 


Dear Left hand,

My biggest fear of remaining unloved was developed through the abuse towards you

But now I know that this is not true

As when I need a reminder, I simply look to the wedding band nestled on your third finger. 

Because with you, I embraced this love 

With an open palm 

Instead of using you to push it away 

With a closed fist.


Thank you, Left hand 

For teaching me to overcome my biggest fear 

Of being unloved 

And don’t worry 

You are so loved as well 


Thank you, Left hand 

For helping me face the fear of my inauthenticity.



Legitimate Me

This poem is about: 
My family
Guide that inspired this poem: 
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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