my mother’s hands (response to “hands” prompt)

My Mother’s hands were never soft and scented. 

Mom was always a hard worker, and her hands told her story. 

Today, her hands tell another story.

 

I remember Mom’s hands, red and raw, scalded by the dishwater.

I remember Mom’s hands, caked with dirt from the garden, her nails rimmed black.

I remember Mom’s hands, quick and sure, peeling potatoes for her famous potato salad.

I remember Mom’s hands, cold and bony, touching my cheek to prove to me how cold it was outside.

I remember Mom’s hands, sharp and hard, like her sudden slaps.

 

Mom’s hands are no longer rough and worn.

Her papery skin looks like vellum,

But is soft like velvet.

Her left is paralyzed, claw-like.

Mom can still feed herself,

Write some, scrub a little.

Now Mom has to ask for help.

I know she hates that,

She who was always

so independent and strong.

It took a stroke for Mom to have soft hands.

 

Today I am very grateful for my rough, red hands,

Still strong and capable.

 

© 2008 Kerry Vincent

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One Response to “my mother’s hands (response to “hands” prompt)”

  1. woodnymph Says:

    I remember this and it is just as beautiful for a second reading.

    Vi

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