Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Naked Hands (Poem 359)

Looking down at my naked hands, 
I notice they are not working 
ice-cold water, a little at a time, 
into flour and lard, rolling the dough 
to a perfect thickness to contain 
beef juice and melting butter, 
nor are they handing the trimmings 
to little girls eager to fold and crimp 
their own tiny pies.

Looking down at my naked hands, 
I am amazed at how clean they are--
no paint stains too stubborn 
for turpentine, no red clay in crevices 
and grooves, no berry juice, 
tree sap, or dark rich potting soil 
under the nails.

Looking down at my naked hands, 
I notice they are still, rather 
than endlessly busy with needle, 
shuttle and thread, embroidering 
flowers and tatting lace for hundreds 
of handkerchiefs, pillowcases, 
doilies and antimacassars.

Looking down at my naked hands, 
I recognize a few tiny sun spots, 
a raised vein, the texture of skin 
not quite as plump and immaculate
as a child's. I see that they are 
familiar, comfortable, capable, and 
(with a frisson of surprise) 
I see that they are mine.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six