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Smiling Hands

Big, tough hands,

Rough, gripping a hammer or wrench,

Fixing this and that.

The same soft hands,

Tousling my hair,

And wiping away my tears.

Trustworthy, sturdy hands,

Spinning me in the air,

Making the world blurred, but

Clear, too.

The same hands,

Thrumming their fingers on the

Worn wooden table,

And frowning at a small piece of

Paper, small writing entwined.

The hands crumble the paper,

Thrown to the tiles.

Trembling, dangerous hands,

Waving back and forth past the air,

Folded in fists and hate.

The same fists,

Slamming onto the table,

Pointing accusations at Mama.

Unfolding the fists,

A picture flutters,

To the floor, face down.

Angry, cold hands,

Pulling clothes and small

Belongings,

Into my big, pink suitcase.

The same hands,

Pulling me behind him,

Out the front door.

The quick, painful hands,

Letting me go,

And pushing me into Mama's frightened arms.

Sad, determined hands,

Saying good-bye from his lap.

The hands stay in my mind as I cry

And run inside; I am not his belonging.

Spotting the picture, I flip it over,

Hoping for the answer.

Those big, tough, hands,

Wrapped around the shoulders of a little girl,

Safe, and warm, in her father's hands.

Hopeful, forgiving hands,

Opening the door,

And saying he was wrong.

The hands pulling me to him,

I looking up into his face,

And seeing the loving smile.



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