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.

Similar Articles


This article has 47 comments.

on Mar. 7 2018 at 5:40 pm
AllTheSuperRacehorses SILVER, Haverford, Pennsylvania
5 articles 0 photos 13 comments

Favorite Quote:
“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”
― Anaïs Nin

Please check out my website for my of my writing at:
Email me at

String hearts and strong minds congregate for literary finds. You smile so wistfully as tears wash away what once was a reason you felt you should stay. And yet you stand. Congratulations of being strong and being able to share it with the world.

i love this so much!


on Mar. 30 2016 at 10:31 pm
ambivalent SILVER, West Bend, Wisconsin
7 articles 0 photos 180 comments

Favorite Quote:
everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. the worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. [sylvia plath]

I think about things of this nature tirelessly.

on Apr. 3 2015 at 3:07 am
Iamwhoiam17 GOLD, Lake City Fl, Florida
10 articles 0 photos 48 comments

Favorite Quote:
Just be yourself,if you are happy that's all that matter's.

I love this. Beautifully written! It is amazing! :) Please take and rate my poetry,I will appreciate it.

on Nov. 9 2014 at 7:55 am
Ray--yo PLATINUM, Kathmandu, Other
43 articles 2 photos 581 comments

Favorite Quote:
God Makes No Mistakes. (Gaga?)
"I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right." -Liesel Meminger via Markus Zusac, "The Book Thief"

So good to read a poem from 10 years ago, specially since these thoughts are shared. Such beautiful simplicity, congratulations!

on Feb. 15 2013 at 5:02 pm
KatelynHanks GOLD, Henderson, Nevada
15 articles 0 photos 26 comments

Favorite Quote:
nothing last forever

This blew me away you are so talented. Please check out my stuff. Keep writting youre amazing!

on Dec. 15 2012 at 8:14 pm
Sarah_Oso SILVER, Peachtree City, Georgia
6 articles 0 photos 26 comments

Favorite Quote:
Live not for the-end-of-the-song. Live in the along.
(G. Brooks)

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.

. said...
on Oct. 6 2012 at 8:09 pm
^That's me. Mind checking out my work?:)

so_joy SILVER said...
on Jul. 29 2012 at 11:18 am
so_joy SILVER, Navesink, New Jersey
8 articles 0 photos 724 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Be the change you want to see."

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!

InkWriter13 said...
on 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 BRONZE said...
on Jan. 24 2012 at 7:36 am
Shacey BRONZE, Watervliet, New York
2 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent"- Eleanor Roosevelt

Wow. I really loved this poem, The title is what really caught me. I loved it I hope you continue your career in writing.

on May. 11 2011 at 7:13 pm
SarahFaith PLATINUM, Hainesport, New Jersey
29 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."
-Dr. Seuss

"Silence is golden, but duct tape is silver."

wow...just wow :)

hellohello said...
on 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...
on Apr. 19 2011 at 2:28 am
Malsie28, Placentia, California
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us"
-Lord of the Rings

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

on Mar. 28 2011 at 8:26 am
Abigail Johnson BRONZE, Oshkosh, Wisconsin
3 articles 0 photos 2 comments
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 =)

on Feb. 12 2011 at 11:00 pm
kikikarnavore18 SILVER, Tolleson, Arizona
7 articles 1 photo 2 comments

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

very good job! love it. :D

SB248 SILVER said...
on Jan. 21 2011 at 1:46 pm
SB248 SILVER, Dexter, Michigan
5 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Wow this is a really moving piece great great job


Lahari GOLD said...
on Dec. 30 2010 at 6:36 pm
Lahari GOLD, Edison, New Jersey
19 articles 0 photos 71 comments

Favorite Quote:
\\\\\\\"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That\\\\\\\'s why its called the present.\\\\\\\"
— Eleanor Roosevelt

\\\\\\\"When life gives you lemons, make grape juice. Then sit back and watch as the world wonders how you did it.\\\\\\\'

NiCe. I barely new my grandmother when she passed away. Very moving piece. GoOd jOb!

naysia SILVER said...
on Dec. 8 2010 at 9:13 pm
naysia SILVER, Bossier, Louisiana
5 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
its my life nd im livin it

this is great i luv it