A Lifetime Of Hands

December 12, 2011
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I am six months old and grasping at the air
With tiny hands, hoping for a look of care
You swaddle me and hold me tight
As I sleep soundly all through the night

Now I’m five and off to school
I hold your hand, even though in two more years it won’t be cool
I hold on tight and look both ways
Our morning routine on pre-school days

At sixteen years, these hands are my own
Prepared to cross the street alone
My hand I share if the boy is right
Then take it back after a huge fight

I’m a senior in high school and my hands grab the wheel
With determination and caution toward my future they steer
At graduation one hand will turn
My tassel from left to right and tears burn

At the end of the aisle, I’m nearly twenty-four
My hands begin to sweat as we head for the doors
Like pre-school again, we walk hand in hand
This time, however, you will give mine to another man

At thirty-six these hands teach my children all I know
How to write, how to help, and also how to grow
These hands help with homework and wipe away a tear
They fold as I whisper prayers so dear

Seventy-four sneaks up on me, my tired hands lay at rest
Needing an extra pair to help when mine aren’t feeling their best
My wrinkled, spotted hands have truly seen much
Holding, helping, folding, giving, wiping, and touch

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