Vox Populi

A curated webspace for Poetry, Politics, and Nature. Over 16,000 daily subscribers. Over 7,000 archived posts.

Jason Irwin: Their Hands

All I remember were their hands holding me down: my mother’s father’s, a young nurse who gripped my left arm, and the doctor, who, before each prick into my skin, assured me it wasn’t a needle, just his finger. After I grew tired of screaming and thrashing, I lay staring up at the light. In the stale silence, unable to speak or move, I thought about the chimpanzee they told me lived in a cage in the hospital’s basement. He learned sign-language and every morning begged his handler to set him free. 

Copyright 2016 Jason Irwin. From A Blister of Stars published by Low Ghost Press.

Photo: N.J. Wight’s Wild! Life

4 comments on “Jason Irwin: Their Hands

  1. Liz Moran
    October 15, 2020

    “stale silence” is beautiful.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. rosemaryboehm
    October 15, 2020


    Liked by 2 people

  3. Barbara Huntington
    October 15, 2020

    And once I get past my own pain, I once again look at my own species and its cruelty

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Barbara Huntington
    October 15, 2020

    This immediately took me back to when my brother and I had the flu and were taken to the doctor daily for a week to have Penicillin jabbed in our little tushes ( yes I know, antibiotics for flu, but this was 60 something years ago). One day I tensed so hard I broke the needle.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Enter your email address to follow Vox Populi and receive new posts by email.

Join 16,092 other subscribers

Blog Stats

  • 4,683,534 hits


%d bloggers like this: