Wednesday, November 16, 2011

These are not girly hands. More likely to be smudged with paint. More nails jagged than smooth.

They can heft a Sawz-All as easily as a pie crust. Rub a cat's belly and come away with torn skin. Never polished. Often softened. One ring, two. Or none.

Can quickly raise a middle finger in an emergency, but has raised a thumb just once. Left thumb smashed at age six in a car door before Mass, the bone crushed and a dearth of ice. The writer's lump still evident despite years now of a keyboard. Will push concertina buttons, but not for cash; plunk plastic chipped piano keys.

They toss garden gloves quickly: in love with cool dirt. Deadhead cosmos with a snap, pinch dahlias. Caress the unfurling of a frond. Check a grape for sugar.

They uncork like a sommelier: quick & snappy. Pour, twirl the glass. Sponge lip-prints from rims. Wipe spots with a linen cloth.

They rub eyes, a furrowed forehead. Conceal a yawn. Rest atop the body as if in prayer, but only in sleep. And only in dreams do they pause -- poised as if gloved in kid, tender as a peach, blushing.


  1. Handy hands....not good to look at but useful. Our hands are related.

  2. those same hands raised two boys...picked them up, cradled them, cleaned their bottoms and cooked their food.

    A lovely piece, T.

  3. Tara, feels like I'm still doing that....

    (But thanks for reminding me!)

  4. This is beautiful T.
    I love my hands too. They are not good to look at, cracked, wrinkly, short clipped nails. If anyone asked for a physical metaphor of my life, it wouldn't be my face (sometimes I barely recognize that part of me) but these glorious servants of my life.

  5. This is beautiful, T. A tender portrait of your hands. A tribute, too.

    Mine are a lot like yours - well-used, a little rough, a little smooth. They're braver than other bits of me and with an inherent 'make don't break' attitude. . .

    Thanks for this reminder to appreciate these 'glorious servants' of our lives (thank you, Jacqueline.) x