On the One Hand, On the Other Hand

Jenny Barrett

On the One Hand
The Devil makes work for idle hands so let’s see your handiwork! Get your hands on needles, pins, seeds, secateurs, pots, pans and puns. Become a dab hand at making do with second-hand. Now I’ve got time on my hands I can no longer say that my hands are full. I have a pair of hands to offer a helping hand (as long as I’ve washed my hands). Clickbait shows a nation joining hands, raising hands to give a helping hand in case we find ourselves in their safe hands. We can’t hold hands or be close at hand but instead let’s give a big hand every Thursday night to those who, first-hand, are hands on.


On the Other Hand
I’ll hand it to them, those who have the upper hand have performed a sleight of hand, declaring themselves to have taken a firm hand. Let’s see a show of hands if you know it’s out of our hands. If we take matters into our own hands, unless it’s clapping hands, washing hands and helping hands, our hands will be tied. I may have time on my hands but I have nothing to hand. It’s all in someone else’s hands.
Jenny Barrett



Jenny Barrett won the Edge Hill University Student Prize for short story (MA Creative Writing, 2013) and has given public readings of stories at venues, including Tate Liverpool. She lives in Liverpool and is Reader in Film and Popular Culture at Edge Hill University.