THE HAND”, AFGHANISTAN

People pass the hand.

There are sounds of car horns and music.

People pass the hand that begs.

Three boys in hoods fold their arms

and swerve away from the hand,

the hand that begs in the rain.

A woman in blue will not look

at the hand that begs,

stretching out in the rain.

People come and go, looking at their phones.

Nobody takes the hand

stretching out, shining in the rain.

In the hollow of the hand

is a folded square

of paper,

but nobody looks twice at the white paper

that gleams in the hand that begs,

stretching out and shining in the rain.

PJ Harvey & Seamus Murphy
The Hallow of the Hand

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