United States

help girl, i feel a different heartbeat inside my chest.
50~ Sept. 2020

bind your hand, child

July 6, 2020


bind your hand, child,
lest you use it,
pencil to paper,
cane to flesh,
suppress that evil.

bind your hand, child,

lest you be seen as different,
chopsticks to mouth,
carefully, carefully,

don't let the baozi fall.

bind your hand, girl,

lest you smear your writing,
write your characters,

stroke by stroke,
perfect, like the rest of you must be.

bind your hand, girl,
lest you be seen as disrespectful,
shake hands,
right and true,
keep that dirty hand away.

bind your hand, woman ,

lest you bring bad omens upon yourself,
smile, say your vows,
you couldn't have married without the switch.

bind his hand, new mother,

lest your child use it.
you saw him use the crayon with the wrong hand,
keep the tradition alive.
yes, this is referring to that unfortunate rule where left-handed people are forced to switch in certain cultures. this particular poem refers to asian society. unlike this poem, my mother was forced to switch, but unlike here, she didn't make me switch to my right hand. this suppression of the dominant hand is slowly disappearing around the world, but many countries still unfortunately practice it.
i wasn't sure if this particular person was gonna have a traditional wedding, but screw it, my search history is so weird right now my parents are gonna question haha.
to be honest, i don't think this was my best work, but i'll improve it over time.


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  • Anlee

    oh wow, i didn't know that some cultures forced left-handed children to convert to right handedness... that's terrible and im glad your mother did not impose this standard upon you

    5 months ago
  • A Rose

    i really love this. i might come back and peer review this, but i really don't know much about certain asian cultures prefering right hands (though interestingly, i am ambidextrious but was only taught to use my right hand early in life)

    5 months ago
  • inanutshell

    i've definitely noticed how asian cultures have a long standing tradition of binding to force conformity & likeness (like binding of the feet in my culture) & it's awful. the stern but hesitant tone in this poem subtly brings out your animosity towards it; i think it's really well done!

    5 months ago