“Lift Your Right Arm” by Peter Cherches
Poetry 180: A Poem a Day for American High Schools, Hosted by Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2001-2003
Lift Your Right Arm
Lift your right arm, she said. I lifted my right arm. Lift your left arm, she said. I lifted my left arm. Both of my arms were up. Put down your right arm, she said. I put it down. Put down your left arm, she said. I did. Lift your right arm, she said. I obeyed. Put down your right arm. I did. Lift your left arm. I lifted it. Put down your left arm. I did. Silence. I stood there, both arms down, waiting for her next command. After a while
I got impatient and said, what next. Now it's your turn to give the orders, she said. All right, I said. Tell me to lift my right arm.
from Condensed Book, 1986
Copyright 1986 by Peter Cherches.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of Peter Cherches from Condensed Book. Copyright 1986 by Peter Cherches. For further permissions information, contact Peter Cherches, 195 Garfield Place, Brooklyn, NY 11215, [email protected].
About the Poet
Peter Cherches is a short fiction writer, singer and performance artist. is the author of three poetry collections, including Lift Your Right Arm (Pelekinesis, 2013).
Learn more about Peter Chercheson his blog Cherches on Lyrics.