Grandma's Hands | Teen Ink

Grandma's Hands MAG

By Sarah B., Milan, IL

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.

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This article has 47 comments.

on Dec. 8 2010 at 7:31 pm
Gracious PLATINUM, Go Away, Kansas
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Favorite Quote:
"life sucks and then you die, yeah, i should be so lucky"

-Jacob, Twilight

I’m still that girl who falls when she runs, Getting back up, because falling is fun.

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.

on Dec. 8 2010 at 9:51 am
MeanPeopleDead SILVER, Rouseville, Pennsylvania
7 articles 0 photos 19 comments

Favorite Quote:
"i yam what i yam and that's all that i yam" -popeye, the sailor man
"it's better to burn out then to fade away" -kurt cobain

smooth and sad. it was the bomb.

on Dec. 8 2010 at 9:02 am
Almost_Lover GOLD, Mission, South Dakota
14 articles 0 photos 82 comments
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=]

on Dec. 8 2010 at 8:03 am
Alisha62293 BRONZE, Warwick, Rhode Island
2 articles 1 photo 30 comments

Favorite Quote:
"A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life." Charles Darwin

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...
on Dec. 8 2010 at 5:49 am
Nyrihaz, Isabela, Other
0 articles 0 photos 24 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Listen to the screams a silent room makes"

Oh, wow. This was very moving. Very good. Full of emotions and details, I have to admit it made me cry. Great, great poem!

on Nov. 11 2010 at 9:14 am
bluegirl440 DIAMOND, Park City, Utah
84 articles 0 photos 48 comments

Favorite Quote:
Everybody lies. -House

This is absolutly fantastic! One of my favorites...

on Oct. 4 2010 at 9:11 am
kmarie14 PLATINUM, Hyrum, Utah
22 articles 5 photos 246 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is either an adventure...or nothing" -Helen Keller

This is soooo amazing! (: It really has strong emotion(: please check out my work! AMAZING!

MRose911 GOLD said...
on Oct. 3 2010 at 11:26 pm
MRose911 GOLD, Paradise, Utah
17 articles 10 photos 107 comments

Favorite Quote:
"No boy is worth crying over and the one who is won't make you cry." - Sarah Kane

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! :)

on Oct. 3 2010 at 8:12 pm
Jellybean9898 PLATINUM, Glendale, California
34 articles 0 photos 42 comments

Favorite Quote:
"When nothing goes right, go left"-Anonymous
"Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste to the sky as well as the Earth"-Henry David Thoreau

i thought this was really sweet.  pls check out some of my work?

on Oct. 3 2010 at 11:15 am
forgottenpenname GOLD, Troy, Michigan
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Favorite Quote:
"Carpe diem."

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! :')

on Jul. 29 2010 at 3:59 pm
Damara...C GOLD, Mings Bight, Other
11 articles 0 photos 40 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Accept me for who I am, or, watch me as I go"!

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


on Jul. 29 2010 at 2:39 pm
MelanieLouise PLATINUM, Plymouth, Minnesota
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Favorite Quote:
to live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong

i love this poem, i like the rhythm :) keep writing, Mel

on Jul. 29 2010 at 1:06 am
Write139 SILVER, Medford, Oregon
5 articles 0 photos 7 comments
This poem is well constructed and touching! I loved it, nicely written.

on Jul. 7 2010 at 8:41 pm
Jellybean9898 PLATINUM, Glendale, California
34 articles 0 photos 42 comments

Favorite Quote:
"When nothing goes right, go left"-Anonymous
"Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste to the sky as well as the Earth"-Henry David Thoreau

this is such a cute poem!  i liked it a lot

REMi93 GOLD said...
on Jul. 7 2010 at 5:34 pm
REMi93 GOLD, Boston, Massachusetts
10 articles 0 photos 19 comments

Favorite Quote:
Love Never Fails

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!

love2run GOLD said...
on Jun. 13 2010 at 7:00 pm
love2run GOLD, Star Valley, Wyoming
12 articles 4 photos 64 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I failed my way to success." Thomas Edison
"What kind of crazy nut would spend two or three hours a day just running?" Pre
"A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are built for." John Shedd

I LOVED it!!!!!

on May. 2 2010 at 12:55 pm
Ms.Understood, Laramie, Wyoming
0 articles 0 photos 82 comments
i must say this was AWESOME! loved the style of it and everything. this shows true feelings and meaning loved it!

Eilatan GOLD said...
on Apr. 10 2010 at 9:00 am
Eilatan GOLD, Old Greenwich, Connecticut
11 articles 1 photo 307 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Nobody is normal. Everybody in the world is a weirdo freak. Except you, which makes you a weirdo freak."

*gasp* it's so beautiful...

on Mar. 19 2010 at 11:47 pm
MakeAChangeJGM BRONZE, Magna, Utah
4 articles 5 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you'll land among the stars"

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 certainly inspired me with emotion

on Feb. 25 2010 at 11:31 pm
brysmarie12 PLATINUM, Neoga, Illinois
22 articles 1 photo 53 comments

Favorite Quote:
I am the author of my own life... unfortunately I'm writing in pen and can't erase my mistakes.

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!