“The Hand” by Jackie Chou


I was sitting idly at the dining table when I met The Hand for the first time. The Hand was pale like it had just been chopped off and bleeding profusely, yet it was alive all on its own, growing from the table like a budding plant. On the outside, The Hand looked simple—it looked like it belonged to a fairly big and muscular man, and that was all. But on the inside, it was much more complicated than that. Its personality encompassed the emotions and desires of all people—big and small, male and female, strong and weak. At times it could even defy time and think like a child, a teenager, a young adult, a middle aged person, or an old person—all at the same time or depending on the situation. The Hand does not behave masculine at all times. As a matter of fact, very often it is sensitive and sympathetic. However, we must keep in mind that it is no saint but only a missionary from the God of Hands. Like all missionaries, it is not perfect. It has its flaws, but compared to the average human being, it has a slightly keener instinct.

The hand had a purpose. It was quiet and pensive when it first grew out of the table, contemplating its purpose.

Eyes, nose, mouth, and ears grew on The Hand, and then it spoke its first words. “Wrestle me,” it said. I held The Hand for the first time. It had a firm grip—so confident it was when it first came to this world. I struggled for a moment, and then let it win. It won because it had the strength of a strong man’s hand, despite its versatile personality.

The Hand got out of the table and grew two short legs. Then it walked on the table, quite awkwardly because it was not from this world. “I’m free,” it said, waving its five fingers. “Let’s play chess,” it said. “Go get the chess then,” I said. The Hand obeyed. It walked to the edge of the table, grew two white feathered angel wings on its back, flew to the shelf, got the chess, and came back. We played chess and talked about why The Hand came.

The Hand comes on a mission to keep company and provide a hand for whoever needs it. But keep in mind what I said earlier, that it does not always do everything right or perfectly, even though it has a good heart and always tries to. You have to watch over it at all times to keep it from going astray because it has a mind of its own. Despite its masculine exterior, it sometimes thinks and behaves childish and naïve. But at the same time, it is capable of thinking deeply and maturely anytime it wants to. It is by no means barbaric but reasonable and moral. When The Hand had finished mopping the kitchen floor and was very tired, it collapsed on the table and dosed off. After it woke up, it said that it had completed its mission, flew to the door, opened it, and flew out into the open sky where the God of Hands was. But The Hand will return when you need it.

Jackie Chou has been writing poetry and prose since high school.  She graduated from the University of Southern California in 1997 with a BA degree in Creative Writing.  After graduating, she has continued to write as a hobby.  She now attends poetry workshops and various poetry open mic events.