My Mother’s Hands

My mother’s hands have always been petite and industrious
Veins crisscross the tops like motorways and the lines etched in her palms tell the story of a woman with an arduous past
They were delicate reminders of love as they wiped away the tears of heartbreak and loss
And they were disciplinarians in my younger and more arrogant years when I thought I knew everything
My mother’s hands have held four children through all stages of life
And when the doctors feared that silent and most deadly of maladies, she swore they would hold her grandchildren, too
They built a home for her three kids after they signed the papers that released her from her one and only marriage
And now that we’re grown, they tend to the little garden that she’s created in her porch
My mother’s hands have been roughened by the herculean effort that has made up most of her life
But they are the more gentle for the love and the peace that those efforts begat


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