I Have My Mother’s Hands

I have my mother’s hands.
I was never one who could lead a crowd,
So I sang with the people
And nearly drowned.
And I have my father’s hands, too.
Sometimes, the knuckles, they turn blue
With rage, not white.
But I’ve not once raised them in a fight.
My grandmother’s are there
In the nails kept bare
Because yarn causes cracks and flakes.
And polish chips don’t help when you bake.
I see generations in the span
In the space between fingers, in what I can
Or can’t do.
One day maybe I’ll see you
And your hand, so small, so pink.
Sometimes I want you so bad, and I think
Of the history passed beyond you and me,
A future maybe I’ll grow to see.
But for now I’m alone, walking the land
With the memories held
In the palm of a hand.

So Many Left

I’ve decided, to start off January, that I will write once a day, every day. I found some prompts, made a list, and I’m slowly checking them off. They might be terrible, they might be nothing but pure drabble, but they are something. So here’s January 4th’s, So Many Left. It might not be good, but I liked it.

Scattered across the ground, in small piles of forgotten letters, discarded objects, baubles that once shone; these mementos of a life long past, they glitter in the haze of remembering. She sat there, staring at the items strewn across the room, a lifetime of items.
So many left, she thought, picking through the nearest pile. So many dreams, memories, tokens of a life she remembered in flickering dreams.
Behind her, three boxes. Keep, Give, Toss. A life, boiled down to three boxes.
“How’s it going, kid?”
She turned around, still crouched on the ground, a letter clutched in her hand. “It’s going.”
“There’s a lot of things.”
“So many left.” She sighed, standing and stretching, staring. “How did you do it, dad? When you left.”
“Same way you’re doing, kid. Keep. Give. Toss.”
“Does it ever get easier?”
“Does life? Dinner’s in twenty. I’ll yell.”
She waited for the footsteps to leave before turning back to the room, staring at it for all its worth. The pale walls, the faded spots where pictures hung, nail holes and tape holding the room together.
“There’s so many left!” she cried, head falling on the table.
“So many left?”
She raised her head, eyes too haunted for an eight-year-old. “So. Many. Left.”
“I don’t think that’s correct English there, kid.”
“I don’t care. There’s just so many.”
“Of what?”
“Of Everything.” She dropped her head back to the table. “So many math problems, rules, people, cookies…”
“Cookies?”
“Too many cookies means I can’t eat them all.”
The chair slid out from across from her, and her father sat down. “Well, I guess we’ll just have to fix that.”
She wiped at her eyes, expecting tears, finding dry eyes. “There’s always so many left, isn’t there.” She turned back to the room and the piles, picking through the pieces and filling boxes. “I guess I’ll just have to fix that.”

To Those I Knew Before

To Those I Knew Before

 

I learned from you.
To be kind, to be smart,
to be generous,
like you.
Always giving,
sharing, spending,
offering what I have;
I know they’re broke,
so I sit and share,
a snack, a smoke
(but I learned from you,
the shadows of cancer,
the stench of cigarettes in the air,
so I stay away).

 

I learned from you.
They called you the favorite,
the nice one, the good one.
And I want that.
To be remembered as the good one,
the kind one,
the one offering,
packing extra,
giving all that I have
and more.
All my time,
all my effort,
all to be
Like You
(because I watched you,
slipping dollars to the cart takers,
an extra twenty pressed in my hand,
no one else could pay but you).

 

Because I learned from you.
And that
was a blessing.