Ode to Hands
With hands like this she could be an artist.
The thumb small,
with wrinkled knuckle and cracked nail.
The fingers long, thick, hairless.
The skin on the back of the hand
crisscrossed with fine lines,
old scars, and dark squiggles of blood
as they go down to do their work.
These hands have an energy,
that flows into them and through them
to whatever they touch, a piece of clay
to be shaped, a canvas to be painted,
A print to be pressed, or someone
to be loved.
Small hands are made for reaching
into the cookie jar. Big hands
are for chopping wood, painting houses,
Milking cows, shooting basketballs,
and the like.
A helping hand is what anyone
would hope for, in times of trouble.
The thought of her, beaten down
By life, makes my hand tremble.
A drowning man,
to save himself, might reach his hand
towards an imagined rescue,
before going down for good.
In the painting the man lays his hand,
ever so lightly,
on the breast of his wife,
while she rests her hand on his.