Ringo Starr

The photograph shows only his hands
crossed in his lap holding drumsticks
as if to say “you know my name and face –
this is what I do”

But the picture is undated,
so which Ringo is it?
The sentimental journeyman,
the kid’s TV narrator?

Is it even him at all
or some or other drummer,
a stand-in or a double,
Keith Moon or Charlie Watts?

Each of whom might
do this some way else,
but obviously still attain
the moving, captured, pulse.

Hands, though, make
a better judge of age
than the face that can be lifted
or its blemishes obscured

Whatever way, these hands know time,
its weight and length,
the rhythm underpinning
something straight and holy

Drawing down eternity
to ninety seconds flat
where time lies under hands
in the sacred perfect furlong,

The sacred healing moment,
the perfect ancient rite that binds
unspoken wordless certainties
in something that we might or not

consider rock and roll

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