These Hands My Hands

By Katie Heffring


My hands are a map of rivers and palms

an untouched desert of cracked


I know I am twenty-nine or could I

be sixty?(But) I know these hands

my hands

How did they get like this?(How did I get

into this?)What did I do?(They do?)


With these hands, I worked the land

shoveled scooped dug lifted tossed


With these hands, I trained horses

pulled released fed cured held

on tight

With these hands, I dragged a tarp

full of water a dead


With these hands, I wrote words

sounds played clapped designed


With these hands, I touched the face of love

electricity soft warmth gripped


With these hands, I found a hiding spot

in the dark and in the din of


With these hands, I felt the last breath

of life pass from another

and another

These hands felt the touch of others

for years and then felt no touch

for months

(The last such aching burned a pulsing


Maybe there is more but there is also

much less These hands my

hands look at them

Maybe these hands will never

sign autographs discover win


Maybe these hands are ugly

wrinkled weathered calloused a bit


But they have really felt lots

(I think)and so

I love them

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