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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.

By
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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This article has 42 comments. Post your own!

bluegirl440 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 11, 2010 at 9:14 am:
This is absolutly fantastic! One of my favorites...
 
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kmarie17 said...
Oct. 4, 2010 at 9:11 am:
This is soooo amazing! (: It really has strong emotion(: please check out my work! AMAZING!
 
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MRose911 said...
Oct. 3, 2010 at 11:26 pm:
This poem is truly AMAZING!!! I have to mark it as one of my favorites!!!! I am very close to my grandma so this poem really touched me :) Thank you for sharing this! :)
 
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Jellybean9898 said...
Oct. 3, 2010 at 8:12 pm:
i thought this was really sweet.  pls check out some of my work?
 
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forgottenpenname This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 3, 2010 at 11:15 am:
This poem made me cry. I just lost my great grandmother last March and this reminded me so much of her! Great poem! Keep writing! :')
 
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Mara15 said...
Jul. 29, 2010 at 3:59 pm:

Great poem very moving, i think of my grandmother too when i read this poem... 

Mara

 
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MelanieLouise This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 29, 2010 at 2:39 pm:
i love this poem, i like the rhythm :) keep writing, Mel
 
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Write139 said...
Jul. 29, 2010 at 1:06 am:
This poem is well constructed and touching! I loved it, nicely written.
 
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Jellybean9898 said...
Jul. 7, 2010 at 8:41 pm:
this is such a cute poem!  i liked it a lot
 
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REMi93 said...
Jul. 7, 2010 at 5:34 pm:
awwww love it! this poem is beautiful and the theme is weaved throughout it very nicely. The repetition also adds to the beauty off the piece. amazing job!
 
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love2run said...
Jun. 13, 2010 at 7:00 pm:
I LOVED it!!!!!
 
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NoLabelsPlease said...
May 2, 2010 at 12:55 pm:
i must say this was AWESOME! loved the style of it and everything. this shows true feelings and meaning loved it!
 
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Eilatan This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 10, 2010 at 9:00 am:
*gasp* it's so beautiful...
 
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MakeAChangeJGM said...
Mar. 19, 2010 at 11:47 pm:
Wow.....this made me cry...this is the first time poetry has made me cry. Great job! The first thing a good writer does is inspire emotion....you certainly inspired me with emotion
 
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OneGodForever32This 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...
Feb. 25, 2010 at 11:31 pm:
Wow this is really amazing! I lost my grandmother a couple years ago, and this made me think of her! Keep up the good work!
 
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Tanner_B. said...
Feb. 25, 2010 at 10:47 am:
This is my grandmother through and through great job
 
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GreeGree said...
Feb. 3, 2010 at 1:41 am:
So heartfelt. So real. Passionate, to the last word.
 
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INnaturegirl said...
Jan. 21, 2010 at 7:17 am:
this made me cry... but in a good way i think... i just lost my grandma and this is her through and through :)
this is beautiful great job!
 
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Keatsian said...
Jan. 12, 2010 at 1:55 pm:
Great job. The rhyming was subtle--didn't hit you over the head. Awesome!
 
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LilBenj This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 12, 2010 at 12:26 am:
Hey, I want to tell you - usually I blow off any and all poetry that rhymes, but this was excellently done. You are a fantastically talented poet. Great job.
 
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