earth embedded under bitten nails.
still somehow soft...
stroked my arm, twice.
Mom's hands didn't understand
why I liked dolls more than dirt
why I'd rather wear a skirt
why I cried when it rained
because the clouds took smiles away.
kneading bread, making my bed
chasing after noise
from wails when I stubbed my toes.
Clumsily placing bandages,
kissing it better.
Mom's hands didn't know
why I wouldn't cling when we crossed roads,
why I was ashamed to have my hair braided, nails painted,
why I never had friends over
were love, were friendship, were above all else
attached to the arms that hugged me so much...
yet I remain embarrassed, mortified,
because my mother's hands
belong to a man.