Hands of Time

wrinkles, lines, arthritis 
crept up on me while i was absorbed
with more important task
steady working from age 13
cruel labor, callous boss
my skin getting rough as sandpaper 
tougher than any leather
though it seems uncivil
many times i’d leave a mark
on my knuckles, fighting 
won and lost, never backing down
ah, but i was young and life was good
holding my babies as softly as i could
embracing my only love, my life line
tiring, never ending repairs on a home
long after my babies were grown
with no job to clock my time
searching for anything to fix 
because i wasn’t made to sit still
carrying my granddaughter around
’til she could walk, following me
watching as i’d do a bang up job
on this or that, my body feeling 21 

it surprises me at moments
to glance down, see these hands
looking older than my father’s 
for he died at such a young age
i know these are my scars, 
where every one came from
my white line when my band comes off
long enough to get grease washed away
still, there are minutes, i stare 
at every crease, amazed at how
my very own hands can reveal my life

@ donetta sifford 6-2-2013


One response

  1. I love this. I always thought that the aged get the rough end of the stick in our societies. But this piece puts focus on them and is beautifully written, thanks for sharing with us

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