Watching them hesitate over the keys,
he couldn’t say what they resembled—
those hands that had learned how to play and to please
and to punch, and to clench when they trembled.
Robert West grew up in Henderson County, in western North Carolina. The editor of The Complete Poems of A. R. Ammons (forthcoming in two volumes from W. W. Norton) and co-editor of Succinct: The Broadstone Anthology of Short Poems (Broadstone Books), he teaches English at Mississippi State University.