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Grandma's Hands This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category.

Looking back at photographs
Taken many years ago,
Back before the snow-white hair
And laugh lines started to show,
There's her image
Smiling ... captured
In each album on the shelf
The photos faded,
Corners worn
By curious grandchildren
Like myself.
Strange to think she was once a child
How small those hands could be ...
That once caught bugs
And held broken crayons
Drawing pictures ... just like me.
Sticky with juice and peanut butter,
Smeared with blots of ink,
Tiny and pudgy with childhood ...
And those fingernails were pink.
Strange to think she was once a teen
How delicate those hands could be ...
That once scribbled essays
Or notes during class
Chatting tirelessly ... just like me.
Carrying books or greeting her friends
With a good-natured wave and a wink,
Youthful and wispy and timeless ...
And those fingernails were pink.
Photos of her as a young mother too
How busy those hands could be ...
That once carried groceries
And cooked numerous meals,
Or bandaged up a scraped knee.
Adorned with a beautiful wedding ring,
Submersed in a soapy sink,
Roughed a little from gardening ...
And those fingernails were pink.
Freeze-framed in my memory,
Are those hands shuffling decks of cards,
Teaching grandchildren how to play euchre,
Or cutting rhubarb for us in the yard.
Filling our buckets with candy
Each and every Halloween,
Or scooting along in her walker
With the charm and smile of a queen.
And when she left us,
I held her hand ...
And as I paused to think,
I smiled ...
For I could not recall a time
when those fingernails
weren't pink.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category. This piece won the September 2004 Teen Ink Poetry Contest.

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Ray--yoThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Nov. 9, 2014 at 7:55 am
So good to read a poem from 10 years ago, specially since these thoughts are shared. Such beautiful simplicity, congratulations!
KatelynHanks said...
Feb. 15, 2013 at 5:02 pm
This blew me away you are so talented. Please check out my stuff. Keep writting youre amazing!
Sarah_Oso This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 15, 2012 at 8:14 pm
Wow, Sarah...the rhyme scheme, the word choice, the repitition, the imagery, the progression, the vividness, the love, the finesse, the sheer truth of it -- the talent...for all these and the beauty woven between the words, I admire, praise, and thank you.
sbets said...
Jul. 29, 2012 at 11:18 am

This is simply magical. You can feel the love for your grandmother and how much you miss her. Please continue writing and sharing your work with others. You have a talent.

Please read, rate, and comment on my poems. Thanks!

. replied...
Oct. 6, 2012 at 8:09 pm
^That's me. Mind checking out my work?:)
InkWriter13 said...
Jun. 16, 2012 at 12:41 pm
Absolutely beautiful poetry, Sarah! You have a true knack with words, phrases, and writing voice. Never fall silent for that voice is strong! A great message. A lovely characterization of one loved very much. Great structure, diction, ideas...Wonderful writing. :D Would you please comment on my poem titled the Girl? I would really appreciate it! :D
shacey said...
Jan. 24, 2012 at 7:36 am
Wow. I really loved this poem, The title is what really caught me. I loved it I hope you continue your career in writing.
SarahFaith said...
May 11, 2011 at 7:13 pm
wow...just wow :)
hellohello said...
May 11, 2011 at 2:22 pm
This poem is so touching! The feeling of love for your grandmother is so universal that a wide variety of audiences can relate. Very nice work!
Malsie28 said...
Apr. 19, 2011 at 2:28 am
This is a gorgeous poem! it's personal enough but not to incredibly personal so that no one can relate. in fact i believe everyone should be able to relate to this! great job :D
Abigail J. said...
Mar. 28, 2011 at 8:26 am
My goodness! I loved this poem! I couldn't help but think of my very own deceased grandmother, this type of material is very relatable to a HUGE audience and your word choice is awesome =)
kikikarnavore18 said...
Feb. 12, 2011 at 11:00 pm
very good job! love it. :D
SB248 said...
Jan. 21, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Wow this is a really moving piece great great job


Wackykoala19 said...
Dec. 30, 2010 at 6:36 pm
NiCe. I barely new my grandmother when she passed away. Very moving piece. GoOd jOb!
naysia said...
Dec. 8, 2010 at 9:13 pm
this is great i luv it
DakotaShadow said...
Dec. 8, 2010 at 7:31 pm
This is amazing. I am lucky enough to still have both of my grandmothers, but one has alzhiemers and probably wont be with us much longer. i loved this, so much.
MeanPeopleDead said...
Dec. 8, 2010 at 9:51 am
smooth and sad. it was the bomb.
LaShay_25 said...
Dec. 8, 2010 at 9:02 am
When I lost my grandma I was mad at her for not staying longer but as time passed I understood she was in lots of pain and needed the pain to stop. But now all holidays are sad cause grandma made them special. Well I loved your poem, keep writing with emotional detail=]
Alisha62293 said...
Dec. 8, 2010 at 8:03 am
My grandmother just passed away last week, so this poem was very moving to me. keep up the good work, i would love to see more of your poetry.
Nyrihaz said...
Dec. 8, 2010 at 5:49 am
Oh, wow. This was very moving. Very good. Full of emotions and details, I have to admit it made me cry. Great, great poem!
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