Hands

hands tell stories of their owner’s life journey. their journey, their pathway is etched deeply into the wrinkles and crevices and caverns of their palms and nails

you are a firefighter and your hands are stained with spots of browned leather and the crisp rotten smell of the fire that burnt them is discreet but discernible when you raise your hand to your nose and take a deep breath and think of that day

and you, your hands are dainty and pink and wrinkled and perfumed and reek of sweetness and sugar because you are a pampered old lady and when you take the grandchildren to dinner you hold your moist soft hand in theirs and they know they are loved

their hands are fresh and dirty with ragged nails and papercuts because they are young and carefree, and scrapes line the wrists from the breezy summer afternoons riding their bikes and falling clumsily only to catch themselves on the gravel

your hands are poor, they have been labored and they carry this mark with their redness, rawness, roughness, and they are chafed and calloused and worn and some days the slightest bend of the finger sends spikes of pain through your body and you know what pain is, you slave for your meals with your palms gripped tightly around the spade or hammer in the heat of the noontime

but you are a professional lady and your hands are clean and manicured and smell of lemons and cleaners and your nails are pretty and white and long and you taptaptap them as you wait for your coffee at the cafe and maybe one of these days a man will notice how clean and cut you are and maybe he will speak to you and maybe admire your pretty long hands for hours

your hands are gnarled and bony and you can smell hospital in them and they look like you, old man, pale and nearly lifeless, weak and fatigued, but they have been strong, masculine hands at one point and this is evident when you can still pick up objects, and though they tremble and shake the word FIGHT is inked into the wrinkles of the knuckles in big bold invisible letters

eyes are the window to the soul but hands are the storybook of life





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