Her Hands

crochet

Her Hands

Her hands are red, chapped, cold
big fingers, short nails.
She’s been hanging clothes on the line
in coldest winter again.

The sheets come in dried and frozen
stiff, fresh and breezy.
When they warm
everyone wants them on their bed.

Her hands are red, peeling, hot
big fingers, short nails.
She’s been rinsing the dishes
in boiling water again.

She’s stacked the foggy plates
into the dish drainer
where they dry instantly,
no germ stands a chance of survival.

Later, she takes up her crocheting
chapped, raw hands, no longer red
big fingers, short nails.
How delicately she maneuvers the threads.

Her wedding band wore through long ago
from too much floor scrubbing her daughter said.
A delicate diamond would look silly on
those wide fingers that never saw a manicure.

Hands that plant purple petunias, pull weeds
big fingers, short nails dirty and torn.
She scrubs them clean until they’re red.
They smooth my hair and say I love you.

© photo and poem caf

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