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  • Mary-Sue Cowell

These Hands

Have you ever taken a good look at your hands? What do you see? This is what I see. I see love in my wedding rings and my mother's family ring. There are scars from a gardening incident and another from a fastball mishap, even one from long ago involving a kitchen

knife and grass. My veins are close to the surface and these have had countless IVs in them. Beyond the physical reminders my hands carry history; my past is in these hands. I have the hands of strong ancestors. The shape of my fingers; my index finger to be more specific is that of my mom; my aunts and uncles. When I really take time to look I see the people who gave me these hands and contributed to my DNA. My uncle's dark skin, my mother fair in contrast with dirt from gardening under her nails; dough from baking stuck to the hands of my aunts and wiped on aprons. These are the hands of hard working women and men in my family. When I look at my hands I am reminded of them. I am reminded of the hands that have held mine. I remember through these hands. These hands have held another in love, joy and in sorrow and despair. These hands have held loved ones at their time of death; a mother; a father; a child. These hands hold others in joyous times weddings, birthdays graduations. These hands are the hands of daily tasks and times. They have strength and weakness. These hands carry the past; and they hold the future. They hold the future only as long as she will let me hold her. What will her hands one day tell her?

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