Ode to the Mother's Hands

for my mother and hers

When unruly winters sigh and make room for spring,
in the dewdrop morning following overnight rain,
you pull and toss weeds in the smooth April breeze
bury your fingers in the earth.

Yearning hides between muscle and bone.
You smooth out my sheets and sew up my jeans,
I reach for something delicate, pluck dusty teacups
from thrift store shelves for the kitchen.
You tell me you see her

when you look in my eyes. I tell you I feel her
in your heart, head, and life lines that bend
like West Denneys road across your palms.
They round and resolve like the edge of the lake,
run shallow and sweet like the creeks.

Tributaries and back roads sprawl
small in five different directions. Your fingertips
are the last bit of you there is
before the rest of the world begins.

In our secondhand palms, we hold peaches and pears.
I press mine to yours like some sort of prayer
when it seems there is nothing left to hold.
You cover my eyes and the cold cures
the ache in my head. "When Dread

and her friends come knocking," you said,
"when you burn yourself reaching
for the door handle, when the fire is at your front step,

let your hand-me-down fingerprints find mine."

Posted in Arts+Culture