Slice of Life – These Hands

August 1, 2023 TwoWritingTeachers.org

These Hands

crochet potholders for Karli’s first apartment
pick up tiny yarn bits from the floor
stir the oatmeal on the stove
mix thin set and then grout in perfect ratios
scrape and sling grout into needed crevices
chip at and free the roller from dried-on paint
scrub suet stains off the front porch
photograph beautiful monsoon rainbows

wield tools like:

  • a tiny thin needle with thread
  • a power drill turning in a three-inch screw
  • a knife cutting thick slices of watermelon
  • a paint brush to reach tiny corners
  • this keyboard I’m writing on

These hands wear rings–the wedding band for more than 40 years–
and they hold your hand while we watch Jack Ryan before bed

10 thoughts on “Slice of Life – These Hands

  1. Denise,
    You have perfect hands for doing all the things, and it’s lovely to see the photo of your hands and the gratitude for all they do. I think about how lucky I am that my hands don’t hurt like other body parts hurt. I think this is something to be very thankful about. And I know you included that Joshua tree for me. 😊

  2. I love this so much. I have very similar hands that have touched my husband’s for more than 40 years. Today my hands are trying to recover, trying to stay hydrated in the heat, trying to love my daughter in a way she can accept and hold onto. These hands have been through hard and have gotten softer. I think these hands just wrote a poem. Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. Love this! I read a prompt years ago to have students write about their hands and it was something I never got around to. You have inspired me to write about my own.
    Thank you!

  4. Oh Denise, so lovely—and what you say in the comment invitation, “…though they have a few pains on occasion,” echoes for me. All that you do with those hands of yours! Tammy talks about inviting students to write about their hands. I remember reading My Hands by Aliki to my second graders as a prompt and having them write and draw about their hands. “Hug my baby brother; pick cucumbers from the garden; clap for my recital…” I’m also thinking about the origin of the handshake, and how that was one of the first casualties of the pandemic. Thanks for this post!

  5. This is so lovely and heartfelt. And the photo too. In a different way, looking at a person’s hands is as revealing as looking at a face.

  6. I notice how, of all the myriad of things our hands do, you plucked contrasting tasks as well as tools. I could picture the tiny pieces of yarn and the small needle, as well as the power of the drill and in the wrist slinging grout. I also like how your first line takes off straight from the title.

  7. Denise, this is just beautiful. Hands do so much and with just a tiny caress offer comfort and love. I have been holding Kathy’s hand for 42 years and still enjoy doing it.

  8. This is a lovely slice which just begins to scratch the surface of what your hands do every day all year through to make the lives of your loved ones better and full.
    They are a powerful tool!

  9. Denise, I love your story…it instantly has me thinking about my hands, inspiring me to write. 🙂

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