She always said she
had her mother’s hands —
bony, good for backhands,
veins, easy for a nurse to find —

they have not moved in days,
except by others,
to wash,
to hold.

They are not old enough
for this bed.

I have to go now,
gotta take care of those kids.
It is time for you to rest,
and to let him rest.

The next night,
my sister called.


Written for Margo’s prompt



Filed under Poetry

18 responses to “Hands

  1. It’s so expressive…with a subtle current of pain… loved it… 🙂

  2. I sense the emotion behind this. Keep your chin up.

  3. Old emotion but still powerful. You should be pleased with this.

  4. This is a powerful piece, Mark. I like it.

  5. You’re safe. You can like this one. It has power. (I just glanced up at the two comments above me and laughed when I saw both used ‘powerful’) Strong imagery all the way through and that volta, very nice.

  6. narcissus101

    it’s so incredible

  7. Invocation of memories followed by tears and chills. Well written my friend!

  8. A great poem…chilling and heavy but very well put together.

  9. I dread those kind of calls ~ Love the opening imagery of mother’s hands ~

  10. This made me very emotional….. such a beautiful write.

  11. Very sad throughout. It seems, as the poem progressed, that the ‘call’ was unfortunately inevitable.

  12. That last line made my eyes well up.. So much said in few words.. The hands – so much in those hands.

  13. Such an intense and powerful piece of writing – in such a short span.

  14. The poem brought tears down my cheeks. The opening with your mother’s hands and then the call. Everyone keeps saying powerful – it is true. Poignant, hard, painful as well. Harsh reality.

  15. Ah geez. Mark–this got to me as one who spent most of her life working with death and dying. Beautifully rendered insight into the process of letting go.

  16. Slow pause.. death
    abrupt ending
    where now
    last forever
    in pain
    and joy..
    where death
    makes life
    and life
    death real..
    light and dark..
    the human condition…

  17. Shawna

    This is so sad.

    “They are not old enough
    for this bed.” … This is my favorite.

    All the pronouns make this all the more interesting, as I try to figure out who all is involved and what role they play.

Some of what I write is true, some is fiction; most is merely possibility.

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