Essential Tremor

If only it were that: a little / trembling in the hand

A photo of the poet, Barbara Nickel. She has dark straight hair and is smiling at the camera. The background is bright yellow.
The Walrus

If only it were that: a little
trembling in the hand. If we could tell
your leg be still and still it would. Be it-
self before we heard the news, reeling,
before the shift and the settle into restless
in bed, the shudder as you roll—
here and gone and here momentous
as aurora and nothing I can hold.
Ends always with me spoon-feeding
and push-chairing; the secret life
of drool which maybe isn’t half so bad as it looms;
in our room would gather the minuscule
beauties, for instance wind setting off the aspen,
every quaver in your lovely hand.

Barbara Nickel
Barbara Nickel published her Domain collection in 2007.

Fund the journalism we need now

In turbulent times, it is crucial that reliable media remains available to everyone. From vaccine misinformation to political polarization, the challenges our society is facing today are too important for half-truths. If you trust The Walrus, we ask that you consider becoming a monthly supporter. Your donation helps us keep The Walrus’s fact-checked online journalism free to all.

Tusks