“LOOK AT YOUR HANDS”

LOOK AT YOUR HANDS

Look at your hands.
What do you see?
Make something from that.
Those were the simple instructions from Poet John D Blase
I read his thoughts and I looked down

My father’s hands: a builder of life, places of marble and monuments risen from dirt. He sketched and drew and ran his hands through his beautiful hair while my brother and I suffered in hospital beds. I once raised my hand to his and saw the similar lines and the ridges on the nails. He apologized for “giving me those hands” instead of the long tapered fingers of my mother.

I see that the hands, small and short like the rest of me, are showing their age. The veins are much too pronounced and cuticles have gone rogue in the nail bed. Small but mighty hands; they have pulled a baby from a troubled womb, laid bricks and built a home. They have been used like a glove from God, I have seen them completely heal a blind eye. These hands have clawed through pain and prayed in vain, they have punched at evil and been broken. I awaken to a stiff finger, swelling from invisible cries of disgruntled living. They held dying hands as they left this world and could not follow. They raised themselves against their will to point out a wrong, when really they wanted to caress a broken heart instead. They are instruments and rarely thanked or noticed except in the background noise of a life well traveled. The history of them revealed in this short word.

I now look at them more thankfully, less critically. I will wash them clean and soothe them with rose oil and tuck them under blankets in winter and let them dream, these hands of mine, so much like my father’s.

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