Wednesday, May 3, 2017

These Hands

These Hands

My grandmother once told me that I had the hands of a man.
Short, stubby fingers with swollen knuckles and cracked skin.
Chronically anxious, I have often bitten my nails until they bled.

As a nurse, they have comforted the dying.
Were the first hands to touch a newborn baby.
Stroked the hair of a frightened, sick child.

They are often cracked and bleeding. 
Nails short and without color.
Some will take their hands away instead of shaking my weathered hands.

As a mother, they have registered a temperature without a thermometer.
They have placed bandages on scrapes and wounds, sealing them with a kiss.
Stroked my children’s backs until they feel into a blissful sleep.

They often have patches of eczema, red and raw.
Shiny from the coconut oil slathered on for protection from frequent hand washing.
I have taken to hiding them when my picture is taken.

They have written words that poured from my soul, hot and acidic.
Written replies to thank you cards from souls who now felt less alone.
They have wiped the tears from my own face as I wrote my painful truths.

They are hands that tell a story.
A story of a life well lived.
They are beauty, redefined.


  1. I have those same hands. Short, stubby with bitten nails. This is beautiful.,