Thursday, October 10, 2013

My Father's Hands

My father's hands,
Like his heart, like his voice,
I know them;
I would recognize them in any room of hands
Without voices or faces.
Those hands held
My hand when I was afraid,
Gave comfort when I was sick,
Fed me when I was hungry,
Gripped an axe that split
Wood to warm me;
Tied flies, baited many a hook.
Cast a rod for rainbow trout
Pulled on canoe paddles down the river.
They planted seedling trees,
Trees I can walk under today.
With the waning wear of work in the woods,
They are softer, less calloused now;
They are supple from prayers, holding grandchildren,
Turning the pages of his Bible,
Or a field guide to birds, bees, or trees,
Stroking Mama's hair 'till she sleeps
Breathes calm—reassured of his presence.
Those hands—Daddy's hands
 I love them.

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