Friday, March 18, 2016

My Mother's Hands

I have tried to write about my mother's hands for a couple of years. I keep finding it difficult.
Here is one more attempt. It's rough and needs revision but I tried, once again, to capture what her hands meant to me.

My Mother's Hands.
In a faint memory, I can feel her touch.
I know she held my little hand tight
When we walked to town on a shopping adventure
My sister and brother walking alongside
And my little sister in the stoller.

My Mother's Hands.
In the garden soil
Dirt under her finger nails
Digging and planting
Flowers and vegetables
Growing rainbows of colors.

My Mother's Hands.
Mixed the dough in the old bowl
Rolled it and kneaded it on the floured board
She would place it in the oven and as it baked
The smell of warm, fresh bread
Would fill our house.

My Mother's Hands.
The brightly colored yarn
Trailing through her fingers
Her hands working the yarn
As she crocheted
Potholders for friends
And afghans for every new baby.

My Mother's Hands
Threading the cloth 
Into the whirring sewing machine
Pins along the seams and
Her carefully sewn hems.
Crafting clothes for us to wear
And outfits for our dolls.

My Mother's Hands.
Careful brush strokes of color
Painting clay and wood.
Ceramic treasures and
Tole-painted wood
That now belong to me.

My Mother's Hands.
Holding one of her books
So intently focused on the pages
She read while other things
Were left unattended.
Her fingers carefully turning the page
Buried in words that told the stories she enjoyed.

My Mother's Hands.
Shaking as she rests
A slight tremble at first
But more prominent
As the disease shook her body
And left her frustrated.

My Mother's Hands.
So much of her life in those
Soft, warm and soothing hands.
Fragile thin skin
Painted with veins.
Knuckles that pained her in the night.

My Mother's Hands.
Resting on the blankets
As I held them during my long visits
To be with her at the hospital
She slept soundly and still
Or woke to tell a tale from
A life so full of love.
My Mother's Hands.
They brought me such love and
Then one day they were gone.
Missing her soft, warm touch
Her life and dreams wrapped up
In those strong but gentle hands.

I am participating in the 
March Slice of Life Challenge.
Each day we post our thoughts.
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers!

Day 18 - My Mother's Hands  


  1. Karen - this is so beautiful. Hands are such a great focus for a memory. What our hands to says so much about who we are as a person and what impact we leave on the world. I connected deeply to this piece as I have been trying to process the loss of my mom. It is hard to come to terms with never touching a person's hands again - you bring this out with grace, simplicity and meaning.
    Thank you

  2. Lovely memories, Karen. Sometimes it is hard to share something so personal, so thank you. I think you have a wonderful scaffold to help you remember all the things your mother's hands meant to you. Her actions tell so much about her.

  3. The beauty of this took my breath away, Karen - so poignant.

  4. This is gorgeous, Karen. The rhythm, the pattern, the flow, the words. All together, they paint such a lovely picture of the person your mom was.
    What great memories you have.

  5. Karen, I love this just the way it is. It says so much about your mother. I'm sure it would make her smile.