Arid/Hands

My hands look old

but not like my Grandmother’s

whose were soft and

smooth like ricepaper

or very thin strudel dough.

As a child, I remember

holding her hand and

wondering why

I couldn’t see straight through to mine –

Her skin seemed

so thin.

But my hands,

they are not like hers.

They have not known the toil

or desperation

that kept her hands in motion.

My hands are tight and puffy

but not from laboring at all hours:

in a factory

at home

raising children

tending an out-of-work husband

making and mending

cleaning and scraping

cooking everyone’s favorites

then, at long last, clasping

a book

She, reading the words out loud

to herself

as if constantly teaching

and re-teaching

herself.

No.

My hands are simply

dry.

 

via Arid

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