A span is the width of a hand outspread,
a cubit runs elbow to middle finger tip.
An inch is knuckle to end of thumb,
and the height of a horse is hand
upon hand upon hand.
The first rulers were our parts and we
took the measure of things with what
was on hand, which was a hand,
or the limbs attached thereto.
The lines that march along the length
of a yardstick are precise while
the reach of fabric held nose to
outstretched arm is a yard of trust
that the one who measures
measures true, and the flesh of
any nose and the bone of any arm
is close enough.
Beside you towering over me I feel
less than though my foot is a foot
despite my knuckle telling otherwise.
Notwithstanding the evidence of
discrepancies in size I must trust that
we are equal, my brain no less nor
more than yours, each heart moving
the volume of blood we contain
so the depth and breadth of us paired
doesn’t tip, unbalanced, like a scale
when the finger lingers to raise
or lower the price.
© Dana Hughes 3.30.18