They are just hands, cracked
as any work-worn skin might be,
the creases running in lines
telling stories of every lost dream
and hard-won victory.
Just looking, we see past the embedded dirt,
the scars stark white against tanned skin
so thick, even softness is just a memory.
These hands know pain, hold hurt
like a solid something, ease misery
with the lightest touch.
Only hands that have raised the crops
for the table or sewn the quilts
warming family beds feel the cold
on winter mornings as something
more than nature’s biting chill.
Clasped in yearning, these hands
have come as close to God
as any believer, stretched in faith
toward that something that binds us
each to the other, the surety of things hoped for,
the evidence of that not seen.
April 7, 2013